Consent Matters is a foundation that aims to raise awareness and to educate students and other young people about (sexual) consent, communication and boundaries. The initiative was started by a group of students from the University of Maastricht and grew into a foundation operating in various places in the Netherlands. Unfortunately, sexual violence is common. 53% of all women 19% of men have experienced some form of sexual encounter against their will in the Netherlands. The team of Consent Matters aims to lower that number. We do this in two ways.
Firstly, we work to put the issue of sexual harassment and intimidation on the agenda and influence guidelines, policy, and laws. Through talks with municipality, university administrations, student organizations, and other groups working on this issue, we aim to structurally lower incidences of sexual harassment and assault. We do this by lobbying for laws that make our public spaces safer, such as anti-street harassment laws modeled after Amsterdam and Rotterdam. We also work to push educational institutions such as universities to implement measures to prevent sexual assault.
Secondly, we want to empower young adults to develop the skills they need for respectful and (most importantly) enjoyable (sexual) interactions. For this we have created a workshop. In this workshop we encourage young people to reflect on boundaries, respect and consent. What are your own boundaries? How do I find out where the boundaries of other people lie? And what can I do with that knowledge?
If you would like to know more, don’t hesitate to contact us.