Karen Willis from Fair Agenda and End Rape on Campus Australia, spoke with news.com.au's Samantha Maiden, who was the first to report on the videos, calling the newly released resource "confusing."
“Young people are more sophisticated than this content gives them credit for. And sex and consent is far more complicated than videos about milkshakes and sharks at the beach,” Willis said. “These resources fall well short of the national standards, and what experts know is needed to actually change behaviours and prevent abuse.”
An aspect of the videos many have taken aim at is its minimisation of rape trauma, where the serious issue is tried to be explained by a woman smothering her boyfriend's face with a milkshake after he claims he doesn't want to drink it. A British narrator is then heard explaining the situation: "This is what we call moving the line," the voice begins. “When a person imposes their will on you, it’s as if they were moving the Yes line over the Maybe Zone or the End Zone, ignoring your rich inner world and violating your individual freedoms and rights.”
The subject matter is treated poorly and fails to adequately communicate the realities of trauma in victims who are sexually assaulted, not to mention it almost makes fun of such a situation by boiling it down to a food fight between partners.
What's more perplexing is the decision to cast a female protagonist as the perpetrator in an abusive relationship, when statistically speaking its women who are most commonly victims of sexual violence.
A lot more needs to be done to make a difference in the wake of allegations of sexual violence in Australia, and treating the issue as something young adults won't understand or are incapable of addressing is not going to spark the changes we want, and need, to see in this country.
If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732.
If you're under the age of 15, contact Kids Helpline at 1800 55 1800 or chat online.