Cork Sexual Violence Centre receives reports of sexual assaults during Fresher's Week

Cork Sexual Violence Centre receives reports of sexual assaults during Fresher's Week
Oliver Plunkett Street's bunting, highlighting the campaign for consent. Picture: Cork Sexual Violence Centre

An awareness campaign for consent was launched last week, with UCC hosting a tea party for consent last Monday, September 9.

CIT will run the same workshop on Wednesday, October 2.

Workers in pubs and Brown Thomas will wear 'Ask Consent' t-shirts for the week.

Mary Crilly, founder of Cork's Sexual Violence Centre, said that the aim of the campaign is to keep the conversation around consent going. 

"Especially around this time of year, Fresher's Week, consent is very important to discuss. Last year we had a number of people coming forward saying they had experienced sexual violence. People are new to the city, they're vulnerable."

"People forget this is an ongoing issue, and people go back to victim-blaming, and questioning how much the victim had to drink. We need to put the blame where it belongs." 

Brown Thomas' display window highlighting the campaign for consent. Picture: Cork Sexual Violence Centre
Brown Thomas' display window highlighting the campaign for consent. Picture: Cork Sexual Violence Centre

The Sexual Violence Centre founder said the centre had a few phone calls from people reporting to be sexually assaulted during Fresher's Week, but so far no one had come into the centre. 

"If it does happen to you, tell someone and get the support you need," she said.

"Sexual assault happens all the time, and it's nearly always someone they know. It's never a stranger. It's a family friend, an acquaintance."

Ms Crilly said she was delighted to see so many traders come on board. Bunting was strung across Oliver Plunkett Street, and Brown Thomas incorporated 'Ask Consent' lollipops into the men's window. 

"To walk up and down the streets of the city and to see this support, it gives you a lift. People are starting to listen." 

Chapter designers created the Ask Consent logo. 

Pubs, clubs, taxi drivers, local businesses, hotels, security guards, UCC, CIT, Cork City Council and the Gardaí have all been involved in the Safer City Initiative. 

The initiative seeks to make Cork city a safer and better place through cooperation across different sectors. 

Brown Thomas' display window highlighting the campaign for consent. Picture: Cork Sexual Violence Centre
Brown Thomas' display window highlighting the campaign for consent. Picture: Cork Sexual Violence Centre

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