It has been a great sexual health awareness week so far. I had the pleasure of attending the expo in the Auchmuty courtyard on Tuesday. There were some great stalls including Acon, Family Planning and the Sexual Assault Service. I enjoyed chatting to students about how the counselling service can provide support around all issues, including relationships and sex. Other great events this week include healthy relationship workshops, sexual health information and support through the university health service, and a Trivia night which sounds like great fun.
The foundation of respectful relationships and healthy sexual interactions is consent. Consent is sometimes depicted as having grey areas, when in reality it is black and white. This you tube clip released by the British police uses the analogy of making someone a cup of tea to explain consent. It is amusing and gives a clear message. It is very simple – sometimes people want to drink tea and sometimes they don’t, sometimes people change their mind about wanting a cup of tea, and an unconscious person definitely does not want tea.
Universities Australia launched a new campaign, Respect. Now. Always., to raise awareness about sexual assault and sexual harassment at universities in Australia. This campaign aims to raise awareness, collect data and contribute to policy and procedure review and development.
Sexual assault affects more than just one person. If you are a victim of sexual assault or have a friend, family member or someone you are supporting that has been the victim of sexual assault there are supports available. The local Sexual Assault Service are available for information and counselling support for both victims and supporters. The Newcastle Team can be contacted on 4921 633 and the Lower Hunter Team can be contacted on 4921 3888. Both teams provide a 24 hour phone service.
Healthy relationships, healthy sexual relationships and consent are super important. If you would like to talk to someone about these topics or anything else, you can contact 4921 5801 to make an appointment. Our online counsellor Kellie will also be available to chat via skype drop-in sessions throughout the week.
Happy sexual health awareness week everyone!