Over half of Leeds students think consent classes should be compulsory

38 per cent of girls at Leeds are victims of sexual assault

1,885 people recently responded to a poll regarding consent classes at Leeds University.

Over half of Leeds students felt that consent classes should be compulsory, with 51 per cent of all respondents holding this view.

40 per cent said consent classes are patronising, which raises issues about ways consent classes are run. It is unsettling to think that whilst many students feel classes should be compulsory, just under half also feel that classes are patronising: apparently conflicting views. It is evident that something about the way consent is “taught” – or at least the way students perceive these classes – needs to be changed.

Whilst many had strong views on whether consent classes should be compulsory or not, only seven per cent have attended a consent class, with one per cent having walked out of a consent class before. With these seemingly low figures, questions are raised. Are consent classes given enough attention? Are they held as frequently as they should be?

Leeds University Union are currently debating whether consent classes should be held during Freshers’ induction week as a direct response to a poll where 38 per cent of female students at Leeds came forth as victims of sexual assault.

The Leeds University Union website states: “This is unacceptable and both the union and the university ought to be taking a stance to ensure that our students can feel safe at university.”

The website also suggests that consent classes at Leeds would “bring us in line with many other universities.”

The matter is still under discussion; the union and Leeds students will hopefully come to a decision shortly.