April marks National Sexual Awareness Month and Trojan brand condoms has teamed up with more than 100 schools to help promote consensual sex.
For the second consecutive year, Trojan is running its Consent. Ask For It. campaign, which emphasizes the importance of consent culture on college campuses.
Corinne Lankowicz, president of Step In. Speak Up., said Trojan’s endeavor is an important one because consent is important in all aspects of daily life.
“Consent doesn't just deal with occasions of sexual intimacy. Consent is included in every yes or no question,” Lankowicz said. “Consent is a simple concept. Where it becomes complicated is when outside substances are thrown into the equation.”
The Trojan campaign seeks to facilitate open and honest conversations on consent and positive sexual behaviors on campuses.
"It is important for us to encourage students to have conversations around consent and provide support for their consent initiatives on campus," said Stephanie Berez, group brand manager for Trojan condoms in a press release.
Both the Trojan initiative and Step In. Speak Up. want to upon up dialogues about sex and topics that may seem uncomfortable to some.
“Having open and honest conversations about sex and consent not only make the sex safe, but more fun and engaging,” Lankowicz said. “Having this conversation lets us know what our partner likes or doesn't like, what they are OK with and where to draw the line. Consent is a place-marker that tells you where the boundaries are before you cross that line.”
While Ball State does not partner with Trojan for this particular initiative, Lankowicz said there are still many organizations at Ball State that promote healthy, consensual sex such as:
- The Office of Health, Alcohol, and Drug Addiction, which offers education on alcohol and drugs.
- The Office of Victim Services, which offers survivors the support and confidentiality they may need after an attack.
- The Office of Student Rights and Community Standards, which responds to allegations of misconduct, students who want to change living spaces because of an attack, and creates no contact orders.
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In addition to these services, Step In. Speak Up. is hosting two events this month to help promote Sexual Awareness Month.
Judge Day, on April 24 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Atrium, asks students the difficult question, “who will be raped based on their appearance?” Participants will learn that clothing does not constitute consent nor does it give an attacker a reason to commit a crime, Lankowicz said.
Pledge Day, on April 26 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. in the Atrium, asks students to take the pledge to be active bystanders when a situation calls for it.
Lankowicz said no matter the circumstance, opening dialogue about consent is always a worthwhile endeavor.
“Consent is important because it is vital to the health, safety and wellness of all humanity,” Lankowicz. “It should be something done out of respect and concern for another person's safety. Consent is not selfish, but considerate.”