Launch of research on Attitudes to Consent in Ireland

20 October 2021, 4:00pm - 5:30pm

DRCC will be presenting insights from new research on what people in Ireland understand and know about sexual consent at a webinar via Zoom at 4pm on 20 October 2021.

The webinar panel includes DRCC chairperson Ann Marie Gill and CEO Noeline Blackwell, Adam May of Language, and social psychologist Dr Karen Hand. The event will be chaired by Ciairín de Buis, DRCC & independent consultant.Following presentations there will be a Q&A session to share reactions and observations.

Please register at the following link:

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community_foundation_logo_dark_highresThis research has been supported by the Community Foundation in Ireland


DRCC – Our Consent Project

Over the past 2 years, DRCC has been working on a new initiative. This project, drawing on DRCC’s expertise, new research and the insights of survivors, will lead a campaign to change Ireland’s approach to consent, sexual equality and sexual violence in Ireland. It will open a national conversation on consent, develop and deliver programmes to explore issues around consent and run a public campaign grounded in human rights.

We actually know very little about what people think about consent, how they understand it and how it operates in their own lives. For this project, we will be learning what people think about consent – and in this context it is really important that we unpack the cultural, as opposed to the strictly legal understanding of consent.

DRCC plans to lead a collaborative campaign, grounded in equality, leading to a deeper understanding of consent, of the impact of gender inequality on sexual violence and the impact of sexual violence on survivors and their communities.

The campaign takes a human rights perspective, and will be championed and informed by survivors. As with all of our work, we will ensure that the voice of survivors is central to our campaign.

We want an Ireland where consent is understood, and nobody believes that sexual activity without consent is OK.

This is a long-term project – where we will work with survivors, individuals and communities across the country, to help us better understand consent, the importance of consent and towards a society that does not tolerate sexual violence and sexual coercion.

Our project will see difficult conversations being had, in homes, workplaces, clubs and pubs. We hope that through our work, conversations about consent will become more normalised. Because this is about making a huge change in how we as a society, and as individuals in that society, view sexual equality and how power is balanced in relationships and between individuals.

The Departments of Justice and of Further & Higher Education Research Innovation & Science, while conducting their own work to raise awareness of consent, are open to working with the non-governmental and academic sectors. We believe that this is the correct approach: recognising that the voluntary sector has a different but important role to play and that significant work has already been done by it and by committed people in academic institutions.

The task of building a thorough understanding of consent in the context of equality is a substantial one and will require the energetic contribution of many of us across society – this campaign will play a crucial role in building that understanding of consent.

If we do this well, we will have a country - and a society - that understands that those engaging in sexual activity must do so as equals, respectful and conscious of each other. We will have a country which recognises that there is no excuse for abuse of power, abuse of vulnerable people, or for sexual activity which does not have consent from all parties. We will have identified that consent is easy enough to understand, but is also very complicated in practice. We will have grown as a society. We will not tolerate sexual violence. We will have built happier, healthier people.

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