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Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Saturday, August 5 will mark the fourth annual Consent Day at Dartmouth, a day-long event designed to raise awareness about sexual assault and dating violence. The event, which is scheduled to run from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Webster Avenue, will feature free food, music, games and a perennial student favorite, t-shirts bearing the logo, "Consensual sex is hot."
The t-shirts are offered to students who sign a "Consent Pledge," in which they pledge to always seek consent for any sexual encounter. Leah Prescott, Sexual Abuse Awareness Program (SAAP) Coordinator, explained that "students who sign the Consent Pledge agree to understand what 'consent' means; to be sure not to engage in non-consensual sex; and to try to educate people who ask them about their 'Consensual Sex is Hot' t-shirt."
The event, which has always been held during Dartmouth's sophomore summer, challenges students to explore the complexities of sexual assault and dating violence, according to Prescott. She added, "Sexual assault affects us all. I want Dartmouth students to know what constitutes a sexual assault, how to prevent sexual assault as well as know what to do if a friend discloses an experience. Eighty to eighty-five percent of survivors/victims know the person who attacked them, so it is very easy for a survivor to feel alone, betrayed, and fearful that the attack may happen again." Prescott said that the goals of Consent Day are two-fold - first, to encourage students to speak up about the issue of sexual violence and secondly to dispel commonly held myths about sexual violence. Prescott listed some of the false perceptions she hopes Consent Day will help correct, including: Rape only happens to promiscuous women; men cannot be sexually assaulted; it is impossible for a woman to commit rape; dating violence only happens to others; victims provoke the abuse they receive; and most abusers are of low economic status. "The truth," said Prescott, "is that anyone can be raped and anyone can be a perpetrator of sexual or dating violence."
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