The health topic Team Woodlawn chose is sexual assault with a focus on consent. We chose this topic because understanding how to get consent is key to avoiding the risk of sexual assault. In fact, many people don’t really know what consent is. We personally care about this issue because we feel like lack of consent is present everywhere. For example, many of us have been catcalled on the street, and although catcalling is different from assault, we believe that these two actions stem from the same issue: a lack of understanding about consent.
Before narrowing our topic to sexual assault, we were torn between tackling sexual health and mental health. We ultimately decided to combine the two. Sexual assault is obviously a sexual health-related issue, but it also ties to mental health, because it can have a severe impact on the victim, such as PTSD. People who have been assaulted can often question why this experience happened to them and whether they could have done something to avoid the situation.
To raise awareness on this issue, we want to start a campaign, in which we will post catchy posters around the neighborhood and link them to an informational blog that we will compile. Two of the research questions we have are: What is the definition of consent? How has sexual assault affected different people? The YWCA is an organization we hope to partner with on this project, and we are hoping they will help us answer our questions. The resources they have will help us provide accurate information on our posters and blog.
The trauma caused by sexual assault can impact all facets of a person’s life, and we want to raise awareness about this important issue in the Woodlawn community.