Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

11.05 26 Apr 2020


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A campaign about sexual consent on the social media platform TikTok has already seen millions of views, according to the head of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre.

DRCC recently launched the #100Consent campaign with 22 of Ireland's most popular and influential TikTokkers.

Noeline Blackwell spoke to Alive and Kicking about the campaign and it's success to date.

She explained: “The people we’re targeting are in the 17-24 age group, principally. They are people who are dealing with sexual relationships and sexual interaction, very often for the first time.

“We know as a fact in the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre that they don’t have the proper understanding that they need in themselves about what consensual sexual activity looks like."

Ms Blackwell explained that they began by gathering the group of TikTokkers in Dublin to talk together about the issue, before they went off on their own and created videos for the campaign.

She said: “Some of them have up to a million fans or followers… several of them have several hundred thousands.

“They put themselves in a different space when they agree to come and talk to us about consent, and then talk to their followers about consent.

“They were taking a bit of a social risk for themselves… they did it because they’re brave, bright and brilliant.

“There have been millions of views of the campaign so far… several millions."

She noted that the goal is to give young people the language to talk about the issue of consent, as well as emphasising the message that they don't need to feel under social pressure if they ever feel uncomfortable when it comes to sexual activity.

She observed: “What we were trying to get across was to be 100% sure that you and your partner in sexual activity are 100% agreeing to the activity… if you’re not 100% sure, the best thing to do is back off.

“[Awareness of these issues] is starting to increase, if we kind of go at the pace we’re going, it will be like the gender pay gap - we’ll have dealt with it in 132 years.

"The truth is every single year there’s a new cohort of young people… who don’t have the language and understanding they need to manage their emotional selves properly."

Ms Blackwell said one of the issues is that there is a lot of "harmful misinformation" about sex online, while a lot of pornography shows situations "where one person is abusing somebody else".

She also argued that a previous recommendation to Government that consent should be part of a wider package of healthy relationships education in schools needs to be implemented now.

Main image: Dublin Rape Crisis Centre CEO Noeline Blackwell surrounded by TikTok influencers at the launch of the #100Consent campaign. Image: Andres Poveda

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