I Mustache You For Consent
Across Canada, May is Sexual Assault Awareness month. This year, Waypoints (formerly the Fort McMurray Family Crisis Society) is continuing the conversation about the importance of obtaining consent by reminding the community that they “mustache you for consent” when engaging in sexual activity. The I Mustache You for Consent campaign hopes to increase awareness about consent and sexual trauma in the community, while making the topic easier to talk about.
The Canadian Women’s Foundation (2015) identified that while almost all Canadians agree sexual activity between partners must be consensual, almost two-thirds do not know what “consent” actually means. Waypoints’ annual I Mustache You for Consent campaign aims to increase community member’s understanding of “consent” by engaging Wood Buffalo residents in a conversation about the importance of obtaining consent and what that actually means, in easy to remember terms.
To consent means to agree to sexual activity. Consent is not the absence of a “no,” but the presence of an enthusiastic “yes.” Consent must be positive, clear, and enthusiastic. There should never be any confusion about whether you have someone’s consent. Consent is an ongoing conversation, so if you are ever unsure about whether you have a partner’s permission, check with them.
Think of sexual consent like visiting a neighbour’s home. Just because your neighbour invited you over on Tuesday does not mean that you can invite yourself on Sunday. If you noticed your neighbour stumble home and they leave the door ajar, that does not mean that you are invited in. Even if your neighbour sent you a text inviting you over, you still must knock first and wait for your neighbour’s permission to step inside. When you enter someone’s home without their permission, this is called breaking and entering. When you do not have your partner’s permission during sexual activity, this is called sexual assault.
During the month of May, Waypoints’ Sexual Assault Program will be bringing the ‘I Mustache You for Consent’ campaign around town. For more information about our events for this month please visit our website and stay tuned to our Facebook page for updates!
In addition to community awareness, Waypoints’ Sexual Assault Program provides individual and group counselling, education for professionals and the community, a 24-7 Sexual Trauma Support Line at 780-791-6708, and advocacy for survivors of sexual trauma at no cost. For more information, please visit www.waypointswb.ca.