In Brief

Tea and consent: police video uses tea as metaphor for sex

Very British Thames Valley Police video compares sexual consent to making tea

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"content_original","fid":"86099","attributes":{"class":"media-image"}}]]An anti-rape video that uses tea as a metaphor for sex has made a splash on social media.

The short cartoon, called Tea and Consent, has been released by Thames Valley Police as part of the #ConsentIsEverything campaign, which aims to give people a better understanding of what constitutes consensual sex.

Tea and Consent, which was written by blogger Rockstar Dinosaur Pirate Princess features stick figures acting out a variety of scenarios in which tea can be made and either accepted or rejected in ways reminiscent of sexual interactions.

"You can make them a cup of tea or not," the video warns in one example of the tea-as-sex metaphor. "But be aware that they may not drink it. If they don't, then this is the important bit: don't make them drink it."

Another scenario cautions against forcing an unconscious person to drink tea. "If someone said yes to tea, started drinking it and then passed out before they'd finished it, don't keep on pouring it down their throat," the voiceover explains.

The cartoon's tagline 'Consent: it's as simple as tea' reflects a concerted effort on behalf of police forces to clarify the legal ground surrounding sexual assault, especially when it involves alcohol or other factors that may cloud the understanding of consent.

In case of doubt, the video urges erring on the side of caution, telling viewers that while it may be "kind of annoying" if someone changes their mind about wanting 'tea', no-one is under obligation to drink it.

Rape Crisis regional co-director Christina Diamandopoulos was among those welcoming the video, telling the BBC that "for too long there have been myths around the subject of consent, particularly that it is a 'grey' area".

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