Consent conference taking place in Cork today 

"A lot of the conversations around consent centre around changes that the victims can make to protect themselves rather than working on consent itself and preventing the issue." 
Consent conference taking place in Cork today 

The event is organised in partnership with Active* Consent, and hopes to provide a “comprehensive and engaging” sexual education for senior cycle students.

Cork secondary school students are holding a Consent Conference in UCC today, which they hope will provide a new take on relationships and sexuality education.

Organised by four Cork students who are Regional Officers for the Irish Second-Level Student’s Union, the ‘Cork Consent Conference’ kicks off in UCC today from 10am until 4pm.

Students in TY and above will hear from speakers including Dr Siobhán O’Higgins, the co-leader of the Active* Consent Programme Team of NUIG, Professor Louise Crowley, leader of the Bystander Intervention programme in UCC, and Mary Crilly from Cork Sexual Violence Centre.

The event is organised in partnership with Active* Consent, and hopes to provide a “comprehensive and engaging” sexual education for senior cycle students.

Co-organiser and Cork Regional Officer with the ISSU, Áine McLaughlin, said that the focus of the conference is around consent education.

She said topics of the day will cover students own understanding of consent, how to provide support for those in danger of harassment or assault, or who have experienced it, and how students can work towards eliminating issues around consent from society.

“As a young person myself, and someone who has experienced relationships and sexuality education in schools, it's really clear that it isn't fit to different purpose. A lot of the time the quality varies, and in general, the topic of consent education, is just forgotten completely,” she said.

“That creates a huge issue, because even if you are discussing issues such as gender based violence, or sexual assault, you're failing to tackle those issues at the core. 

"And a lot of the conversations around consent centre around changes that the victims can make to protect themselves rather than working on consent itself and preventing the issue,” she added.

Ms O’Laughlin said that young people are very aware of the topic of consent, but without proper relationship and sexuality education, are in danger of getting misinformation.

“I think now more than ever consent is something that young people are really aware of. This conference is about making sure that the information they get on it is accurate, and also making sure that it reaches as many people as possible,” she said.

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