Oxford University launches sexual consent course for all students

It's part of efforts to tackle sexual harassment and violence at Oxford.

Oxford University says it's helping students understand the meaning of consensual sex, as it launches a new course for everyone arriving for the new term.

'Consent Matters' can be completed online and covers things like respect and boundaries in relationships.

All students are being asked to take the course before they arrive or return to the city in the coming weeks.

Oxford University said that 'preventative measures are just as important as responding well to specific incidents.'

It launched the wider Oxford Against Sexual Violence campaign in 2018, which aimed to send a message that sexual harassment and violence of any form is unacceptable.

Last year the University increased staff numbers in its Sexual Harassment and Violence Support Service, appointing specialist staff to handle student complaints.

It also made changes to disciplinary procedures to make them more transparent.

Dame Elish Angiolini, Chair of the Oxford University Sexual Violence Steering Group, said: “We all need to play our part in tackling sexual harassment and violence at Oxford and in encouraging respectful interactions within the community.

"Preventative measures are just as important as responding well to specific incidents, and this online training course offers all students essential information about consent and healthy relationships.”

Oxford SU has previously run face-to-face consent workshops during Fresher's Week, which this year will continue to be delivered virtually online.

Alex Foley, SU VP Women, said: "Combating sexual violence is a priority for us at the Student Union. As such we have been delighted with the overwhelming student response to our online Consent Workshops. So far we have managed to train over 200 student facilitators.

"We are extremely pleased that the University’s Consent Matters programme is available as an additional resource demonstrating the University’s commitment to these values. We've enjoyed coordinating with the Oxford University Sexual Harassment and Violence Support service and look forward to the launch of the Consent Matters programme."

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