«I choose when, how and with whom»

Crystal clear: “Consent is the verbal or non-verbal agreement to participate in a sexual act. It is the minimum requirement for sexual relations to be sexual relations and not sexual violence.

It seems obvious, but it is far from it, which is why the Tarragona City Council has recently published a youth guide on sexual consent. Explaining its content seems more timely than ever as a result of the social alarm generated by the rape of a teenager by another minor this past weekend.

The guide, the first on this subject prepared by the council, has been written by the lawyer Nahxeli Beas, from the Associació Assistència Dones Agredides Sexualment. AADAS and coordinated by Montse García Biosca, head of Equality Policies of the city council.

And, if there were any doubts about what consent is, some examples help to understand it: «I can say yes and then no or vice versa; I can want some internships yes and others no; I can love one day yes and another day no; I can love with some people yes and with others no…»

Beas points out that if little is said about sexuality, there is even less talk about consent: «Socially it is believed that sex is natural; instinctive, as if it were not crossed by stereotypes or power relations. But the truth is that sex is learned and also poorly learned. If we want to create a culture of mutual agreement, do you speak it or how do you do it?

Toolbox

The guide, he points out, was born with the intention of being a kind of toolbox. In fact, Montse García Biosca explains that soon training will begin on its content for people who work with young people, from educational centers to different facilities. It will also be sent to those who request it.

And, although it is a guide specially designed for young people, there are concepts that it would be worthwhile for people of all ages to keep in mind. An example: “People who are asleep or who are not fully conscious due to the use of drugs, alcohol or other chemical substances cannot give their consent.”

Dismantling the aggression

Much of the book is devoted to breaking stereotypes. Rapists, they point out, do not usually respond to the violent, unknown man who attacks a woman in a dark doorway; On the contrary, they are usually men known “who use confidence, insistence and/or emotional blackmail as a weapon.”

Another of the false myths is that men cannot control their sexual instincts and that they have a higher libido than women, but the truth is that “sexual violence is totally or partially premeditated acts. It is widely demonstrated that violent behavior is learned and is not part of our biology.” It also includes key concepts to recognize online violence.

The guide, however, does not stop at consent, but is also dedicated to debunking myths about sexual assault, starting with the fact that most do not leave physical marks, and this should not be used to say no. there was aggression.

It also clarifies that there is no ‘correct’ way to react when suffering an attack. “The level of stress at the moment, the survival instinct and the previous experiences of each one, can lead to diverse reactions such as not facing the aggressor”, they point out.

The guide also includes the resources available in the city in the event of suffering an attack, whether you want to report it or not.

In this sense, the city council has also prepared another legal guide against sexual violence. It is intended for both victims and professionals who work with them for whom training is currently being provided.

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«I choose when, how and with whom»