Powerful ‘Not Consent’ exhibition to open Sexual Health week at NUI Galway

Galway Daily news Powerful 'Not consent' exhibition features the clothes of sexual assault victims

A sobering exhibition on how our society still too often blames victims of sexual assault and rape for being attacked will open in Galway this weekend.

‘Not Consent’ is being organised by Ruth Maxwell and features the clothing worn by victims of sexual assault and rape when they were attacked, donated for this powerful piece.

Ruth was the victim of a horrendous attack while walking home from work in Dublin in 2016.

She suffered gruesome injuries when she was attacked in broad daylight by a knife wielding attacker, and cable ties and duct tape were found at the scene.

Her attacker was convicted last year of attacking Ruth and two other women, both of whom he sexually assaulted.

The ‘Not Consent’ exhibition will be the opening event of this year’s Sexual Health Awareness and Guidance week NUI Galway

Students’ Union Vice-President/Welfare and Equality Officer Clare Austick said, “We are delighted to be working with Ruth Maxwell to bring the amazing “Not Consent” exhibition to NUIG.

“Students’ Unions and Universities need to take a strong lead in ending the culture of victim blaming as sexual violence and harassment are still prevalent issues in today’s world,” she added.

“How somebody is dressed is not consent. Consent is Ongoing, Mutual and Freely Given – this is the core message of the NUIG Smart Consent courses.”

The exhibition will be open 2pm-6pm at the O’Donghue Centre this Saturday, February 9.

Representatives from Galway Rape Crisis Centre, Stop Domestic Violence in Ireland, Survivors Side by Side and NUI Galway Students’ Union speaking at the event along with performances from well-known musicians.

SU President Megan Reilly said “We hope that our SHAG week events will encourage our students to take a responsible attitude to sexual health and healthy relationships.”

“We still have a long way to go in Irish society in terms of breaking down the taboo of talking about sex.  We want our students to be educated about their sexual safety.”