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15 March 2024 | Podcasts | Article by Kathleen Hallisey

Unpacking the Controversial Sexual Consent Campaign

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In this week’s episode of HJ Talks About Abuse, hosts Kathleen Hallisey and Hannah Hodgson delve into the nuances of a controversial campaign addressing sexual consent. Aptly titled “I’m Asking For It,” the campaign, fronted by Emily Atack and orchestrated by CPB London and Right to Equality, aims to push for an overhaul of legal regulations surrounding sexual offences and promote the affirmative consent model. The hosts critically analyse this campaign and its potential implications for survivors, the legal system, and societal perceptions surrounding consent.

The hosts outline the campaign’s aim of challenging the status quo in the realm of sexual consent – moving from ambiguities and the concept of “implied consent,” to a more explicit, affirmative model where unequivocal consent is required. As they dissect the campaign, they highlight its timing and relevance, released near International Women’s Day, reflecting the ongoing struggle for women’s safety, rights, and acknowledgment of sexual abuse.

They further probe into the paradigm shift that the new proposed consent model would bring about, not only legally, but also in the dynamics of sexual interactions. This includes the prospect of every sexual activity needing explicit consent, a change that would render previous “grey areas” obsolete, thus empowering survivors and reducing instances of victim-blaming.

By bringing to the table issues of cyber flashing and cyber sexual harassment, Emily Atack’s involvement and the public response, they dissect different facets of this contentious campaign. Kathleen and Hannah underscore the urgent need for a more assertive and clear legislation on consent, in response to the challenges faced by survivors and the uncertainties present in the current law. The episode ends on a hopeful note, reinforcing HJ Talks About Abuse’s commitment to discourse on survivor empowerment and consent, and promising to keep listeners updated on developments related to the campaign.

Author bio

Kathleen Hallisey

Senior Associate

Kathleen Hallisey is a Senior Associate in the Abuse Team at Hugh James.

Originally from the US, she began her legal career in New York before moving to the UK and becoming a solicitor. Throughout her career, she has exclusively acted on behalf of claimants, including those who suffered catastrophic injuries on the road or at work, were dismissed from their jobs as a result of discrimination, or sexually assaulted on university campuses.

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.


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