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March, on International Women’s Day, 75 young women from across Sunderland attended a performance of Open Clasp’s


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On the 8th March, on International Women’s Day, 75 young women from across Sunderland attended a performance of Open Clasp’s BlueGiro at Ayton Youth Centre organised by The Box Youth Project. During the post show workshop, which looked at risk and responsibility, it was acknowledged that we women and young women are constantly told to how to behave in order to keep ourselves safe from sexual violence and rape. That, in line with current research by Opinion Matters, it is often believed that in some circumstances women and young women should accept responsibility. For example if they accept a drink from a lad, are alone with a lad, kiss a lad, dance in a sexy manner with a man/lad, dress provocatively, walk home alone or if a young woman is drunk and passes out, then it's her responsibility if she is raped.
The young women were asked what messages should be given to men and young men in order to keep women and young women safe. The following is the outcome.
Men should remember:
Get a YES before you UNDRESS!

Always make sure the girl says yes

Yes means yes and no means no, there is no grey area

If she’s drunk she’s not consenting - If a girl is legless don’t take the risk Silence doesn’t mean consent

If you threaten a woman it’s not consent

Sex without consent is rape



If in doubt keep it in your trousers
Respect women

Don’t take advantage of women

Make sure the girl is not underage

Know that age difference matters - if you are over 16 it’s illegal for you to have sex with someone under 16

Women should be able to wear what they want

The way women dress/dance/act doesn’t mean you can take advantage

You have no right to take what you want

Women have the right to change their minds

If a girl is by herself it doesn’t mean she’s looking for a man or sex

Girls aren’t just there for sex

Have respect within marriage, women and girls aren’t your property

If a girl or woman is sexually active it doesn’t mean that she’s easy.

Use protection, but remember just cos a girl’s carrying condom’s doesn’t mean she’s up for it.

Don’t take girls home that you don’t know

Be cautious

Don’t be led astray

Don’t force anyone to do anything

Have zero tolerance of violence against women

Never meet a girl online

Don’t send pictures of women to others or share on the internet

Respect girls privacy

Get to know somebody

Trust her

Your body is your temple

Ask yourself how would you feel if it happened to someone you know e.g. family member?

If a girl is flirting with you and dressed sexily it doesn’t mean you can have sex with her.

Make sure you’re on the same wavelength.

Never think women are there for the taking.


Control yourself

Don’t pressurise girls or supply them with too much alcohol and don’t spike drinks

Don’t touch inappropriately

Don’t use rude comments

Don’t assume

Don’t mislead

Don’t put women under pressure

Don’t force


You have a choice


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