Cambridge for Consent calls on drinking societies to help end sexual harassment
Cambridge for Consent released a statement yesterday calling on the university’s drinking societies to tackle sexual misconduct, in its first campaign of the term. The statement, released yesterday afternoon, has already gained over 45 likes and the attention of numerous drinking societies.
The campaign focuses on the rate of sexual misconduct within drinking societies and at swaps. It calls on societies to stand in solidarity with the sexual harassment movement by sending a photo of themselves with a sign saying ‘[name of society] pledges zero tolerance on sexual misconduct’ to the charity page. The post states that Cambridge for Consent aims to spark a conversation about unwanted behaviour at drinking society events and encourages students to speak to their drinking societies about such behaviour.
Evie Aspinall, the Vice-President of Cambridge for Consent, commented that the society chose to focus on this campaign in the light of the sexual harassment allegations in the press. "Swaps and societies can at times be highly pressurised environments in which people feel they must behave in certain ways," Aspinall said. "With drinking society fresher swaps coming up for many societies in the next few weeks, now seems like the perfect time to get drinking societies talking about these issues."
Aspinall also mentioned that the campaign was not designed to demonise drinking societies and that issues with sexual harassment extend beyond these groups. "We believe that targeted campaigns which spark discussion among groups…are an important priority," she added.
Every year, 85,000 women are raped in England and Wales and 400,000 women are sexually assaulted. Cambridge for Consent, a university-wide campaign formed to encourage awareness of sexual consent, was founded in 2015 with the aim of reminding people of the importance of consent through education, in order to reduce the number of sexual assaults in the area.
Further information on the charity’s work can be found at www.cambridgeforconsent.com.