The law is clear – sex without consent is rape. So why is there is so much confusion when people discuss consent and what constitutes rape?
Reports of rape have more than doubled over the last four years and one in seven female students is raped or sexually assaulted during their time at university.* In spite of numerous educational campaigns by police and other organisations, it seems the message that ‘sex without consent is rape’ is not getting through to potential perpetrators.
To address this, The Club AMBA Project has been created by Sussex Police and supported by leading support and campaigning organisations, aiming to encourage a broad discussion about consent and rape. Through this discussion, we hope to bring greater clarity to the issues, debunk myths and misconceptions, and change behaviours.
The project consists of i) the Club AMBA videos, which tell four different stories about sexual relationships, consent and rape set in a fictitious nightclub, and ii) discussion space that extends across this blog and social media. Our focus is the potential perpetrator – because there is only one person responsible for rape: the rapist.
Just to be clear, we do recognise that perpetrators of pre-meditated rape are very unlikely to be swayed by this approach. We are appealing to those who have the capacity to make informed decisions, recognising what consent means and the implications of ignoring it.
This project has been, and still is, a challenging journey. We are all too aware that this hasn’t been done in quite this way, especially by a police force, and we have all come out of the experience with more insight. We have been genuinely moved by the support of our talented actors who helped us make these videos, the music companies and artists who have supported us and our partners who have been behind this project from day one.
Now it’s your turn. Join in our conversation on this blog and social media. Help us bust the myths and get the facts out there.
Welcome to The Club AMBA Project
* Reports to police of adults being raped have more than doubled from 10,160 in 2011/12 to 23,851 in 2015/16, and research by the National Union of Students in 2011 revealed that 1 in 7 university-age women experience serious sexual or physical assault during their time as a student.