A shared understanding that consent is present when engaging in any sexual interaction is essential both morally and legally. Consent is often the central issue within a complaint of sexual assault, yet research indicates that only one in three Canadians truly understands what it means to give and have consentFootnote 1. Incidents of sexual misconduct where consent is at issue are prevalent, not only in Canadian society but in the CAF as well, as evidenced by the 2016 Statistics Canada Survey on Sexual Misconduct in the CAF.
Consent First video project
Given the importance of consent - particularly in a military context where power and rank differentials may place consent in question – the Operation HONOUR Consent First video was developed to increase awareness and understanding of sexual consent. Available in both English and French, the videos are tailored to CAF personnel, featuring members from all environments describing what does, and does not, constitute sexual consent.
The Consent First idea originated from work being done at Ryerson University, who graciously granted the CAF permission to adapt their concept for use in the CAF.