Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry has joined forces with the Nottingham Consent Coalition to support a new campaign highlighting the importance of sexual consent.

The ‘A-Z of Consent’ campaign is being unveiled today <MON 21 JUNE> by the Consent Coalition– a partnership of statutory and voluntary sector organisations with the shared aim of ensuring Nottingham has an effective and coordinated response to sexual violence.

The campaign, which is being supported by Commissioner Henry, Nottingham City Council and a host of other agencies, provides key facts for each letter of the alphabet to address a multitude of consent themes that have been identified during the past 12 months.

It follows the successful launch of the Consent Coalitions ‘Do you get consent?’ campaign in February 2020 and supports the belief that the more people know, the more they can influence positive change.

By raising the awareness of consent, the Consent Coalition aims to create a culture where consent is at the centre of all relationships.

Supporting the campaign, Commissioner Henry said: “While consent may seem a simple concept to most, there continues to be a lack of awareness, respect and understanding about what it really means, as evidenced by the many prosecutions through our courts every year.

“People need to understand sex without consent is rape – and that includes within a relationship. There is no justification and no excuses. Consent impacts everyone, from married couples and friends through to new and long-term partners.

“This campaign will discuss consent in an open and transparent way to encourage people make the right choices. I am determined to do everything necessary to protect people from the trauma of rape and sexual crime and this includes taking a proactive approach to ensure people are better-informed of their responsibilities and the law.”

Cllr Neghat Khan, Nottingham City Council’s DSVA Portfolio Holder, said: “Communication, honesty and respect are key to healthy sexual relationships. But why is consent so important? Without consent, sexual activity is sexual violence.

“In Nottingham we are committed to taking a zero tolerance stance against sexual violence and abuse, not only does that include supporting survivors, challenging perpetrators but educating everyone on the importance of consent.

“Consent should be at the heart of all relationships and it is an agreement between people engaging in sexual activity, where everyone involved has the freedom and capacity to make a choice.

“Nottingham City Council is dedicated to protecting and educating people and therefore we are delighted to support the Consent Coalitions new A-Z of Consent campaign. The campaign contains a number of important consent messages, covering areas such as sharing of images, victim blaming, coercion and choice. The A-Z of Consent is a fantastic educational resource and we hope that people will embrace this campaign and share our vision of being a city free from sexual violence.”

Since the launch of the first #GetConsent campaign in February 2020 until now, much has changed in the world of dating, relationships, and sexual activity. There has been an increase in the number of people staying at home and utilising dating apps and messaging platforms.

The A-Z of Consent campaign has been strategically created to embrace the changing world that we live in and to highlight that consent still matters even if the platforms have changed. This new campaign includes related themes such as dating apps, photos, filming, and messaging. It also embraces themes such as intersectionality and being supportive of everyone, regardless of their identities; another theme that was very prevalent this past year.