About the Project

Only Yes Means Yes is a legal education project about sexual assault and consent designed by and for post-secondary students. Getting clear, affirmative, and ongoing consent for all sexual activity is a legal requirement. It’s also an an absolute necessity to avoid causing harm and violence. Have you ever wondered how the criminal legal system defines and deals with sexual assault, and what’s required under the law for consent? Or have you wondered how the legal standard of consent measures up against an ethical standard of consent that’s high enough to prevent harm?

Check out the companion piece to our Only Yes Means Yes workshop, our animated video called The Unfinished Story of Yes.

 

About the Workshop

West Coast LEAF can offer Only Yes Means Yes on post-secondary campuses in the Lower Mainland and in other parts of BC where funding is available for travel. We can tailor the workshop to make it accessible and relevant to particular groups.

Our interactive 2.5 hour workshop will unpack the ins and outs of sexual assault law through a critical social justice lens. We’ll address some of the most common legal questions about sexual assault and consent, as suggested by the student advisors who helped us create this workshop:

  • How does the Criminal Code define consent?
  • What are the differences between a legal and ethical standard of consent?
  • What are some ways of checking for clear, active, and ongoing consent?
  • What are some legal and non-legal options for adults after being sexually assaulted?
  • What are some examples of legal cases where myths about sexual assault came into play, and what were the outcomes?
  • What resources in the community and on campus can provide information, support, and legal help around these issues?

Canadian state law is one strategy among many for responding to sexual assault and seeking justice and healing. Although the legal system is deeply flawed, knowing how it works can help you make informed decisions. This workshop will demystify how the law understands sexual assault and the legal responsibility to get consent. It will also help us imagine a culture of consent based on an ethical commitment to non-violence that is deeper than what the law requires—and inspire us to work to create that culture on campus.

 

Workshop Agenda

We can adjust the workshop agenda to meet the needs of your group, but here is the standard sequence of activities we facilitate in a 2.5-hour session.

  • Introductions, resources for support and information, and group guidelines
  • Movie clip and discussion of messages about consent in the mainstream media
  • Brainstorm about power
  • Explanation of legal definitions of consent and sexual assault
  • Comparison of legal and ethical standards of consent
  • Mini scenario activity: what does and does not count as legal and ethical consent?
  • Discussion of ways of checking for consent using our words
  • Explanation of some non-legal and legal options for adults after sexual assault
  • Analysis of legal cases to identify myths and realities about sexual assault
  • Closing and feedback forms

The workshop is informal and interactive; participants are always free to participate in their own way and will not be put on the spot to speak. They are also welcomed to take breaks as needed, for any reason and at any time.

 

Book a Workshop or Learn More

Please contact Alana Prochuk, Manager of Public Legal Education, at education@westcoastleaf.org or 604-684-8772 extension 117.

The standard workshop fee is $100, but we can negotiate a lower fee or waive the fee if you are a grassroots group and cost is a barrier. Unfortunately, we no longer have funding for travel; we can offer the workshop outside of Metro Vancouver only if you can cover our travel costs.

A protest on a college campus with many young people gathered and holding signs. In the foreground, a person with wavy, long dark hair and a toque is holding a sign that says "End Rape Culture."

Image credit: Chase Carter, CC 2.0

 

Learn about all our recent work to end sexual assault and support survivors.

 

The development and piloting of this workshop was made possible by generous funding from: