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The University of Southampton
Southampton Law School

Policymaker and stakeholder roundtable on sexual consent

Published: 18 December 2017

Representatives of Hampshire police, criminal barristers and charities for sexual assault victims met with academics and students of Southampton Law school (Professor David Gurnham, Dr Harry Annison and Mark Telford) as well as academics from other institutions in Southampton on Wednesday 13th December to discuss implications arising from new research led by David Gurnham on how young people perceive and understand sexual consent.

Participants discussed the research findings in light of their professional experience of safeguarding, supporting victims and prosecuting sexual offending, and how researchers and other professionals can collaborate further on evidence-based approaches to tackling these issues. The project has been funded by the ESRC Impact Acceleration Account and by the Public Engagement in Research unit; the research team will now reflect on participants’ feedback and suggestions for future action and knowledge-exchange, before writing up a draft final report and publishing the findings.

A representative of a sexual assault victims’ charity said: “Having academic and expert input from a variety of people was excellent for reflecting on practice.”

A senior criminal barrister commented: “It was an extremely interesting afternoon and reinforced my view that this is a thought-provoking and uncertain area.”

A University of Southampton student said: “This was a very valuable insight into the issue of consent, and has allowed me to view it in a different light. It has sparked an interest into tackling the many social and legal issues surrounding consent.”

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