Understanding consent

ConsentEd

An Edmonton-based website is working to bring some much-needed clarity to the discussion around sexual violence. Launched in May 2012, ConsentEd serves as a centralized resource for information on sexual violence.

Physicians see people when they are at their most vulnerable and in crisis, and sexual assault is part of that. Ending gender-based violence would have huge positive implications for health and would help create safer communities.

ConsentEd

WEBSITE

Visit the ConsentEd website for more!

“We want people to understand what it is, why it happens so often in our society and what we can all do to create a world without sexual violence,” explains Niresha Velmurugiah, a fourth-year medical student at the University of Alberta and one of the 11 founders of the website.

“Our hope was to reach youth and young adults, but we’ve gotten an amazing response from people of all ages.”

All of the founders met while volunteering as sexual assault counselors and realized there was a lack of clear, consistent information.

ConsentEd pro-consent buttons“We were all frustrated by the myths and misinformation out there, especially about whose responsibility it is to stop sexual violence.”

Now in its second year of operation, the website offers a range of information and resources all consolidated in one easy-to-navigate site.

“We’ve heard from educators and activists saying what a wonderful resource it is. It’s been great to see the kind of reach it’s had and that it’s helping people.”

It has been a tremendous amount of work for everyone involved, including Velmurugiah, who juggled her ConsentEd duties with her myriad responsibilities as a medical student.

“It’s been busy,” she admits. But as she looks ahead to a career that she hopes will include emergency medicine, she knows the ConsentEd experience will make her a better physician.

“I think the social context of health is so important. Physicians see people when they are at their most vulnerable and in crisis, and sexual assault is part of that. Ending gender-based violence would have huge positive implications for health and would help create safer communities.”

More about this initiative

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