A year and a half ago I sat on my bed googling the definition of rape. A guy I had been casually seeing had left a few minutes earlier. I was confused, upset, disgusted and scared, and I wanted to collapse my body in to the washing machine and rinse myself out.
A year and a half later, I have written about consent in national publications, I have taught consent workshops in schools and sixth forms across two cities, including in my own secondary school, and I’m about to spend ten weeks volunteering on a sex educations programme in West Africa.
Today, I’m utterly bewildered and overjoyed to have been awarded a travel fellowship from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust to write a research paper on how sexual consent is taught around the world.
I’ll be going to Kenya, Uganda and India later this year to witness programmes doing brilliant, thoughtful, effective work teaching consent. I want to talk to ask many organisations, charities, NGOs, activists, politicians, survivors and students as possible.
I plan on using the findings to contribute to the way consent is taught back in the UK. I will be writing along the way and publishing a paper at the end of the trip.
In the midst of #MeToo and Time’s Up, people are listening. I hope this project contributes something positive to the discussion.
If you’d like to get in touch or know someone I should talk to, please @ me or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
More about WCMT here.