University’s third ‘I Heart Consent’ Week raises awareness among staff and students

News Page 14th December 2017

The University’s third ‘I Heart Consent Week’ kicked off Monday 4 December and aimed to make both staff and students discuss and debate issues around healthy relationships, consent and sexual harassment.

The week consisted of workshops, drop in sessions and information stalls and local organisations such as Northampton Rape Crisis, the Northamptonshire Rights and Equality Council and Victim Support and Serenity have been on hand for any advice or guidance.

Lorna Jowett, Reader in Television Studies, led on one of the sessions about how consent is represented in the media and how to deal with portraying these types of issues when making film documentaries.

The students who attended were shown a scene from the 1939 film ‘Gone with the Wind’ and asked to discuss whether there was a consent issue between the two main characters Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara compared to the 1991 film Thelma and Louise, where the characters Thelma and JD seem to have more of an equal relationship.

Dr Melanie Crofts, Senior Lecturer in Law commented, who organised the week, commented: “The week raised a number of important issues around sexual violence, harassment and consent and staff and students took time to organise and run some interesting and thought provoking sessions.

“We had a number of external speakers too, who offered their time to speak about their areas of expertise. Consent is still not understood by many and is a really topical issue with the allegations which have been made within the film and entertainment industry and in politics.  However, Higher Education is not immune from these issues so even more important that these issues are out in the open and discussed.

“Thanks to everyone who contributed to this year’s I Heart Consent Week and to those who made time to support sessions.”

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