Posted 24th September 2020

The Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) Teesside has released a new video to be shown in university and college buildings to help students understand the importance of consent and who is responsible.

SARC Teesside provides a 24/7 service for anyone who has experienced rape, sexual assault or any other sexual abuse – a service that free and is still fully available despite the challenges around Covid-19.

The SARC Teesside team, which is based at North Ormesby Health Village in Middlesbrough, would normally attend freshers’ fairs and colleges to raise awareness of the issue and the services available, but have not been able to due to restrictions this year.

Working in partnership with creative videographers (check) at Teesside University, they’ve created a digital message around consent to be shown in college and university buildings and shared via social media.

Kay Davies, SARC Teesside link worker, said: “This is a really important message for us to share and since we’ve been very restricted in doing outreach this year, we wanted to create something digital to replace that.

“Most of the time when people talk about consent, they’re referring to some kind of sexual or physical activity with someone else – consent is about openly talking and agreeing on what kind of activity you want to engage in understanding when no means no.

“It’s really important for everyone, not just students of course, to feel comfortable with what’s happening; Both parties need to seek and give consent but, it is ultimately the person seeking that consent who has the responsibility to ensure it is given and understood.  We hope this video gets the message across and we urge people to share it for us.”

The organisation issues the following advice to those seeking consent:


  • If in any doubt, assume that consent has NOT been given.
  • It’s also important to check that the other person continues to consent – ask ‘Are you happy with this?’ and ‘Are you sure?’, and to stop immediately if the answer is not ‘yes’ (the absence of a ‘no’ is not the same as a ‘yes’).
  • Saying ‘If you don’t want to, that’s ok’ is also very important.

Sexual activity without consent is an offence.

They were lovely and made me feel comfortable. Out of hours staff were lovely as well. Talked to me and made me feel at ease and safe

Female, 18, Medical Examination, Police Interview

Brilliant, could not of got through this tough time without all the help from staff. Thank you for everything

Male, 20, Support Session

The staff are really helpful and lovely they could not have done more

Female, 35, Police Interview

Excellent, very supportive, listened and gave good advice. A massive thank you to the staff for being so supportive with my daughter and myself at this traumatic time for her. You do an excellent job.

Female, 47, Medical Examination, Police Interview
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