Anti-rape calling cards are coming to UK festivals and freshers
They read: ‘Anything other than yes means no’
Consent cards tackling rape and sexual assault at music festivals are set to be handed out at fresher events.
Feminist activists have been dishing them out in the US, and there are plans to launch them in the UK.
The Compassionate and Respectful Engagement Squad, or C.A.R.E, have been giving out business cards at festivals across the U.S. with messages defining consent on the back.
A message on the front of the card tells creepy clubbers to back off. It says: “Consent is sexy. Please leave me alone. I’m glad that you think I look sexy. It doesn’t mean I want you to be so close to me.”
On the other side of the wallet sized cards is a list of bullet points describing what consent is. The cards say that consent is “Non-Coercive”, “Not fixed”, “Conscious” and “Not something that needs an explanation.”
The freebies, which are already being handing out at events in California, also say that “Consent should be continuously negotiated for different activities in different scenarios” and “Anything other than ‘YES’ means ‘NO’.”
And now, one concerned festivalgoer is bringing the cards to the UK.
Sophie Ray, from Leighton Buzzard, in Bedfordshire, is planning to spread the C.A.R.E squad message to events in England.
The 21-year-old, who works in retail, told The Tab: “I’m planning to distribute them at gigs and festivals, I know a few people who manage events locally to me and for larger companies based in London.
“I’m planning on taking some with me to Download Festival next year, and to any other festivals I attend.
“I think it should happen at all festivals, day festivals, weekend festivals with camping definitely.”
When asked whether she thought consent cards have a place on uni campuses, Sophie was emphatic in her support for the campaign – hoping to distribute them at freshers’ events and uni nights.
She said: “Although it is primarily a place of learning, a lot of people go to uni for the social side.
“You meet a lot of different people and sometimes it’s harder to say no when you’re trying so hard to fit in.
“There are societies in some unis already addressing the issues about awareness of consent, as well as advocating positive relationships with other students, but it’s especially during freshers week as students can be extremely vulnerable in the first few weeks.”
Sophie thinks the consent cards could make a real difference to club culture as well saying: “A lot of the trouble with calling someone out for their behaviour in clubs is that it’s hard not to offend people when you or they have been drinking.
“A lot of the time people take refusal as a personal comment, but handing them one of these cards would prove you were prepared to turn people down beforehand.
“I don’t think ‘lad culture’ in England will go anywhere any time soon, and sometimes it’s a great laugh, but it also involves a lot of pressure being put on guys to just go out and get laid.”
Just last week, a girl was allegedly raped in her tent at Secret Garden Party. Police are still appealing for witnesses after the incident which happened in the early hours of Friday 24th July.
— Jemayel Khawaja (@JemayelK) April 12, 2015
This campaign comes after a controversial t-shirt emblazoned with the phrase “Eat, sleep, rape, repeat” caused outrage at Coachella in April.