Consent Week

A purple and blue watercolour bird in flight. Beside a purple watercolour streak with the text "Consent Week, January 24 - 28"

Consent Week (January 24 - 28, 2022) is an annual opportunity for campus community members to engage in conversations, activities, and events focused on consent and changing culture.  

Talking about consent, and creating a consent culture, are work we do all year round – though consent week enables us to intentionally:

  • Normalize dialogue about consent
  • Enhance nuanced understandings of consent
  • Explore how to engage in healthy, positive, respectful relationships with each other, and embed consent in our daily practices
  • And highlight the services on and off campus available for support

Covid-19's Impact on Sexual Violence

While we encourage all students, faculty and staff to engage with, and participate in, Consent Week, we also acknowledge that time, energy, capacity, and wellbeing are under significant pressure right now. The pandemic and its impacts have placed existing systemic inequities into greater strife 

Sexual violence still occurs during the pandemic. And social and physical distancing measures can force individuals to remain at home with others who cause harm (e.g. sexually abusive intimate partners, caregivers), and away from bystanders and supporters who might otherwise intervene or provide care. With remote learning and working, the pervasiveness of online harassment has increased.

A helpful* infographic (PDF) produced by The Learning Network at the Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women & Children and its partners highlights these, and other ways individuals may be at an increased risk of sexual violence due to the pandemic.

COVID 19, pandemic protocols and sexual violence impact most severely our Indigenous, Black, racialized, Queer, Trans and non-binary, low-income, houseless, criminalized campus community members, particularly those living with disabilities. And for these communities particularly, the violence that Black Lives Matter resists against, along with growing radicalization of white supremacists, will continue to have long lasting effects 

We support folx doing only what they can, maintaining good boundaries and taking care of themselves and their communities – including when this means you can’t participate in Consent Week.

Creating a #ConsentCulture

Given the significant pressures faced by campus community members, we have chosen to limit our activities for Consent Week, aiming to provide a few virtual spaces and opportunities to engage in important conversations and actions around consent. 

Deep thanks and gratitude to our engaged campus community for your commitments to normalize conversations around consent, and even during current times, to explore how to embed consent in all aspects of our campus life.  

Sexual Violence and COVID-19: Resources for further Learning