Part One – NZ Police – ‘Understanding the Law’
The group talked through scenarios on various issues that come up in NZ society. Discussion ranged from things around domestic abuse, addiction, indecent exposure, underage sex, meeting online, and consent.
The discussion looked at legal aspects to these issues and the officers gave advice about how to keep safe.
Part Two – SAPN – ‘Who are You’
A sexual violence awareness and ethical bystander workshop:
The focus of this workshop is alcohol facilitated sexual violence amongst young people. The workshop covers sexual violence definitions, the law and consent, what it means to be an ethical bystander and the different ways in which we all can be ethical bystanders. Young people can play an important role in preventing sexual violence in this context by behaving ethically and stepping in when someone may be vulnerable. However, identifying when someone is vulnerable is not always easy and stepping in requires confidence and knowledge of how to do so appropriately.
The workshop began by defining sexual violence. According to the World Health Organisation, it includes but is not limited to:
- rape within marriage or dating relationships;
- rape by strangers or acquaintances;
- unwanted sexual advances or sexual harassment (at school, work etc.);
- systematic rape, sexual slavery and other forms of violence, which are particularly common in armed conflicts (e.g. forced impregnation);
- sexual abuse of mentally or physically disabled people;
- rape and sexual abuse of children; and
- ‘customary’ forms of sexual violence, such as forced marriage or cohabitation and wife inheritance.
Sexual Violence Statistics in NZ
Sexual Violence and the Law
The workshop presented the different parts of the Crimes Act and Harassment Act and different scenarios that match up with this. Scenarios like taking a photo or recording someone in the bathroom over the top of a bathroom stall was matched with Section 216H-216N of the Crimes Amendment Act 2005: Making disturbing or possessing Intimate Visual Recordings.
The steps to consent:
- Can anyone give their consent?
- How can you tell if someone is giving consent?
- How does someone get consent?
The Ethical Bystander
The bystander effect is the notion that the more people around an incident the less likely someone is to intervene. Strangers are less likely to intervene and won’t take action if no one else does. People are reluctant to step in because they could be wrong, fear of approaching a stranger, and it’s sometimes hard to recognise an issue. It is difficult to break the trend and take action.
In situations involving sexual violence, intervening can also be challenging. We looked at a video to show that the signs leading to sexual violence are detectable, but we need to step up together and be active bystanders and intervene. Below is not the video used, but it is an available video that demonstrates the same principles in action.
If you find yourself supporting a friend who has has an experience of sexual violence, no matter how small. There are things that are important to say:
- I believe you.
- It’s not your fault.
- Are you safe now?
- Refer to a support person (guidance counselor, SAPN, rape crisis etc.)