Foster carers from all walks of life would surely agree that one of the truly great British institutions is the cup of tea. Our history of drinking tea is inseparable from our imperial past. And if you doubt our love of the beverage, then consider the following: the British are reckoned to drink 165 million cups a day or looked at another way, 60.2 billion cups annually. Tea has become to be seen as inherently British. Why? One reason might be that the government actively encouraged tea drinking because of the revenue collected through taxation. We can all agree that the love affair we British have with tea, is strongly rooted in our past and is definitely set to continue into the future.
The idea of the love and the passion we have for a stimulant like tea, has now morphed to play a metaphorical and curiously apposite role in exploring the idea of sexual consent. And conveniently, for the purpose of the exercise, tea and sex are both three letter words! And so is the word the ‘law’ – which means for hormone fuelled under twenty-fives, it is important that the idea of sexual consent is properly understood. Of course, this applies to people all ages, but in the context of young people experiencing the pressures of adolescence, combined with the prevalence of mistaken ideas about sex, explaining consent is an important priority.
Foster carers need campaigns like ‘Consent’ to support their efforts
Nowhere is this more important than in the world of foster care. Children coming into care have often come from chaotic and dysfunctional families. Not the sort of places where enlightened, progressive and tactful messages about sexual well-being can be disseminated. Many children, sadly, may have witnessed sexualised behaviour – or themselves become victims of sexual exploitation. The result is their ideas about sex and relationships can be confused to say the least. This can place a heavy burden on foster carers and other care professionals tasked with trying to bring some degree of normalcy into the lives of such vulnerable youngsters. So anyone tackling the thorny subject of sexual consent with a view to creating clarity has to be applauded. And if successful they definitely deserve a kiss – but only if they have consented first! And Blogger ‘Rockstar Dinosaur Pirate Princess’ should definitely be in the queue for a well deserved ‘smacker’.
It takes quite a leap of imagination to think that tea is the answer to explain what constitutes consent. This particular ‘Princess’ is in no doubt – she writes about the animation: “if you’re still struggling, (with the idea of consent) just imagine instead of initiating sex, you’re making them a cup of tea? and they go ‘omg f**k yes, I would f**king love a cup of tea! Thank you! Then you know they want a cup of tea> If they say ‘No thank you’ then don’t make them tea. At all. Don’t make them tea, don’t make them drink tea, don’t get annoyed at them for not wanting tea. They just don’t want tea, ok?”
And she goes right to the wire by making the point that if someone has agreed to have a cup of tea, begun drinking it and then passed out before finishing it, it must not be poured down their throat as “unconscious people don’t want tea.”
You get the idea… And in another curious if offbeat connection with tea and love, we also still have the famous exhortation from the Monty Python team to avoid making love and instead “Make tea, not war.”
But back to the video which was first created by Blue Seat Studios and the blogger Rockstar Dinosaur Pirate Princess. It is now being used by Thames Valley police as part of their #Consentis Everything campaign as part of a joint project with the Thames Valley Sexual Violence Prevention Group. The approach; around a difficult subject is innovative and imaginative. The style of animation is graphic, simple and the overall result, memorable: just as well as sex without consent is deemed to be rape. As Detective Chief Inspector Justin Fletcher, who is from the Thames Valley police said in relation to the campaign –
“The law is very clear. Sex without consent is rape. It is the responsibility of individuals to make sure they have consent throughout sex . True consent can only be given freely by someone with the capacity to make a decision. To have sex with someone who is unable to give consent, or is agreeing under coercion, is to have sex without their consent.”
You can then watch the video ‘Consent’ at https://youtu.be/oQbei5JGiT8
And proving this issue is currently at the top of the agenda, the nation can now sit down with a cuppa to watch its favourite soap opera, Eastenders. The show is explores the issue of rape and consent through the experiences of the character Ruby Allen.
Don’t forget to put the kettle on…
Could you foster a child who has been the victim of child sexual exploitation?
At Rainbow Foster care services we have been matching vulnerable children with dedicated foster carers for over twenty years. We have changed many lives for the better. It is only by recruiting very special people who are committed to providing loving and supportive foster homes, that we can continue to do this. We need to find more individuals in London, Birmingham and Manchester who have the time and commitment to do this important work. We provide outstanding training for all our foster carers and specially tailored training for those choosing to foster youngsters who have been abused. This gives them the confidence; with our twenty-four hour a day support, to care for such children. At Rainbow we can take your experience and skills to help you build a rich and rewarding career in foster care.
All you need to do is to call our foster care recruitment team on 020 8427 3355. They will be happy to answer any questions you might have about a career in foster care. There is no obligation – just advice and guidance.
Catch up with our latest foster care news stories:
All the latest news about foster care is available to be read at https://bit.ly/2kJHpsO
New research evaluates children moving from residential homes into foster care.
8th October, 2018