A federal-government-funded website is being urged by women’s safety advocacy groups to remove harmful and misleading content.
The website, The Good Society, which is funded by the Australian Department of Education, Skills and Employment, became infamous for its ‘milkshake’ consent video where a woman smears a milkshake on her partner’s face without his permission.
Despite 97 per cent of sexual violence being perpetrated by men, the ad used a woman as the perpetrator who breached consent.
The consent video was later removed from the website after public outcry.
The government-funded website has been called out again by Fair Agenda and End Rape on Campus Australia for publishing contradictory and confusing information on consent.
The website published that “looking way” or “going still” indicate a “hard no” and that “stillness” or “looking a way” indicate uncertainty.
The website also alleged that “smiling with the eyes” and laughing can show consent.
“The suggestion that stillness and looking away should be seen as anything other than a no, or that smiling or laughing should be seen as a yes, are horrifying,” Fair Agenda and End Rape said in a joint statement.
“Every single piece of content the government is putting in front of young people on this issue should be signed off by experts who actually understand the drivers of sexual violence, and the need for a trauma-informed approach for the students in these classrooms who have already been sexually assaulted.”
The organisations also pointed out confusing messaging on the website such as “We need to avoid pressure and coercion, though respectful persuasion can be okay” and “If a yes is not enthusiastic then it’s a maybe even a no”.
According to SBS, officials told a Senate estimates hearing that there were a number of people who have reviewed the website and there would be another review.
“If there is one lesson that we have learned, [it] is to listen to the voice of experts, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do through this process of expanding the reference group, as well as getting expertise on family and domestic violence,” the department of education official said.
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