Alliance Councillor Aaron McIntyre is to urge Lisburn and Castlereagh Councillors to get behind the PSNI’s No Grey Zone campaign.
Aiming to raise awareness about sexual assault and consent, the Councillor for Downshire East said it is important everyone in the local area feels empowered to speak out when a sexual assault occurs.
He added: “The Police Service of Northern Ireland, in conjunction with a number of partner agencies, has launched a new sexual consent awareness campaign entitled No Grey Zone. The campaign aims to raise awareness of what sexual assault is and what sexual consent is.
“The target audience is 16 – 28 year olds and the campaign aims to educate them about sexual consent and reinforce the clear message that there is No Grey Zone. It is vital that every single person understands what sexual assault and consent is. The campaign reinforces the message that full consent must be obtained before any form of sexual contact is made. How someone dresses, or how much they chat to you in a bar does not imply consent. There is No Grey Zone.
“In addition, people need to feel empowered to speak out when a sexual assault occurs. Anyone who has suffered a sexual assault, either recently or in the past, should contact the police or speak to someone about what has happened.”
Councillor McIntyre concluded: “By putting this motion to Council I want people to know that every Council facility supports No Grey Zone, and they should feel safe and supported whilst on our premises. I am pleased that Council recognised the importance of this motion, which will be led by the local Policing and Community Safety Partnership.”
The full motion reads:
“This Council notes the PSNI led ‘No Grey Zone’ awareness campaign, which clearly sets out what constitutes sexual assault, debunks myths and provides information on available support.
“This Council believes that everyone across the Lisburn & Castlereagh area should feel supported and empowered to speak out when a sexual assault occurs. Accordingly, this Council declares all premises operated by Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council to be a #NoGreyZone and resolves to arrange a cross-party delegation, to include Council communication and marketing officers and the PCSP manager, to meet with the PSNI, prosecutors, sexual violence charities and student representatives to identify how to effectively support the campaign in Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council premises.”
The website www.nogreyzone.com has full information about the campaign.