A CAMPAIGN to raise awareness about the laws requiring sexual consent has been launched today by charities and the police.

#ConsentisEverything is being supported by Thames Valley Police and the Oxfordshire Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Centre, as well as partner organisations in other counties.

It will aim to highlight the laws surrounding sex and the obligation to get consent.

Director of Oxfordshire Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Centre Lisa Ward said: “We have joined together to make people aware of the law surrounding sexual violence, which clearly places the emphasis on getting consent - not to assume it is received.

“Consent is an ongoing dialogue, not just at the point of initiation but throughout sex and throughout relationships.

“Survivors of sexual violence too often blame themselves and we want to send a clear message that rape and sexual violence is only ever the fault of the perpetrator.”

The campaign can be supported on social media using #ConsentisEverything and by visiting the website consentiseverything.com

Detective Chief Inspector Justin Fletcher, of Thames Valley Police, said: “The law is very clear. Sex without consent is rape.

“It is the responsibility of individuals to make sure they have consent throughout sex.

"True consent can only be given freely by someone with the capacity to make a decision and to have sex with someone who is unable to give consent, or is agreeing under coercion, is to have sex without their consent."

He added: "Victims can have confidence in reporting to police. We will listen and they will be believed.

“Awareness of what sexual consent means and how to get it is vital.

“Together we can prevent rape by ensuring everyone knows when they have sexual consent – and when they do not.”

It comes after a series of education workshops at Oxford University, organised by a student union. 

Earlier this year the university pledged to make “sexual consent workshops” compulsory for all undergraduates, as part of a crackdown on harassment on its campuses.

Eden Tanner, co-chair of the ‘It Happens Here’ scheme, said: “It is vital the community-at-large has a good understanding of the law around consent – without it a culture flourishes that leaves perpetrators unchecked and survivors silenced.

"We as a community have a responsibility to be talking about consent, and making it clear that consent is affirmative, communicated, active, mutual, free, sober, and enthusiastic.”

Support is available for those who have experienced sexual abuse and rape through the Oxfordshire Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Centre. For information call 0800 783 6294.