Sexual violence campaign launched

Last updated 15:46 13/06/2014

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A youth-based campaign against sexual violence launched today is urging teens to "speak up" about consent.

Minister for Social Development, Paula Bennett, worked with teens to develop the $250,000 social media campaign: Are You That Someone - Let's Stop Sexual Violence.

The six-week campaign will focus on teaching youth the true meaning of sexual consent and that sexual violence can also include groping and grabbing as well as rape.

There is a strong peer-pressure element to Are You That Someone? With images challenging youth to call out peers on inappropriate behaviour. 

It follows a year of blurred lines among teens and sex - with the so-called Roast Busters, a group of West Auckland youths, allegedly having group sex with drunken teenage girls and bragging about it online.
Four girls were revealed to have approached police with complaints about the group.

Today Bennett said the activity of the Roast Busters "highlighted confusion around what's appropriate and what crosses the line in sexual violence, and how to respond."

As ball season begins (alongside alcohol-fuelled after-parties) young people are being asked to look out for friends and "see the signs, speak up, step in safely" in scenarios where others aren't able to give consent.

"It means checking in with your mates to see if they're okay with the attention they're getting."

The Are You That Someone campaign was developed with the help of youth and Auckland Rape Prevention educator Kim McGregor.

DJ Richie Hardcore, who helped with the campaign, says New Zealand has a culture of silence around the topic of consent.

"It's just not discussed, we've got these very Victorian attitudes towards sex but the reality is it's everywhere - on our phones, the internet, in commercials and music.

"And that's how situations like the Roast Busters come to happen, when you're exposed to lyrics about getting women addicted to crack it becomes somewhat normalised."

The campaign comes after the Government announced it would allocate $10.4 million to sexual violence services in the next two years in the 2014 Budget.

Almost one in three women and one in ten men in New Zealand will be victims of a sexual assault at some point in their lives. 

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