(MADISON,WI) Today, sexual assault is one step closer to ending. A group of 13 high school students from Dane County released a PSA entitled Consent is Classic. The PSA shows scenes of couples asking for consent from the 1920s to the present era. The young people featured in the video, as well as those who wrote and styled it, are part of the GameChangers, the Youth Advisory Board for the Rape Crisis Center dedicated to creating the social change necessary to end sexual violence.
GameChanger Dija Manly, a freshmen at LaFollette High School, said, “As a teen, I sometimes roll my eyes at adults trying to convey a message to us by trying to be ‘hip’ and whatnot, but this PSA is different because it has teens trying to convey an important and relevant message to other teens in a constructive, not critical way. GameChangers has been an important part of my life because here I was able to meet and collaborate with other like-minded teens who were just as passionate about social justice as I am.”
These students are helping to end rape by rewriting the script for cultural misconceptions about consent and sexual entitlement. “This video does a fantastic job of showing that checking in with your partner to make sure they are ready for the next step is a necessary, healthy part of relationships – it is how we show that we care for one another,” says Maria Schirmer, Education Director at the Rape Crisis Center.
Produced by local filmmaker John Urban, the GameChangers did most of the work themselves. “These kids had their act together – they created the concept, wrote the script and brought the costumes. They put the whole thing together and all I had to do was show up and film the thing,” said Urban of the process.
Students under the age of 18 are more vulnerable than college students when it comes to experiencing sexual assault – 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will experience some form of sexual violence before they even graduate high school. “We are doing a disservice to our young people if we do not address this epidemic early,” Manly said, “I know that supportive and innovative groups like GameChangers will truly help make the world a better place.”
Serving Dane County and the surrounding area since 1973, the Rape Crisis Center (RCC) provides services to the survivors (and their family and friends) of all forms of sexual violence, including recent sexual assault, past sexual assault, incest (past or present), sexual harassment, and sexual exploitation.
These services are provided free of charge and include crisis intervention and support (24 hour Helpline and on- call Advocate/Counselors), short-term counseling, support groups, medical/legal advocacy and accompaniment, community education, and Chimera Self-Defense. RCC serves women, children, and men.