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  • Dublin Rape Crisis Centre launches first National Consent Campaign aimed at driving a cultural shift and behavioural change in Ireland.
  • 70% of people see a problem with sexual consent in Ireland.
  • The campaign will inform, educate, and engage with all members of society about consent.

Dublin Rape Crisis Centre (DRCC), alongside the Minister for Justice, Simon Harris TD, and Community Foundation Ireland, has today launched We-Consent, a long-term national campaign to inform, educate and engage with all members of Irish society about consent. It is among the first national consent campaigns targeting all demographic cohorts to be launched across the globe.

This campaign will ignite an open and meaningful conversation about sex and relationships and build a greater understanding of consent. We-Consent will work broadly with groups and stakeholders from across the country across all demographics to ensure a non-judgmental conversation that is inclusive and rooted in the lives and experiences of real people.

Research undertaken by DRCC illustrated that 70% of people think we have a problem with consent in Ireland, while 1 in 3 people are embarrassed to talk about sex. The research also showed a misunderstanding of consent, with 1 in 5 people agreeing that sometimes people say no to sex when they want convincing.

According to the same research, 84% of people in Ireland agreed that we need age-appropriate sex education in school and 60% say consent is a responsibility for all society and needs state action. The qualitative research illustrated a strong desire amongst parents to empower their children when it comes to consent. 

The research also suggested that moving the conversation towards sexual equality will empower both men and women, leaving people feeling valued, respected and accepted. We-Consent is focused on positive thinking, encouraging everyone to participate in a meaningful and engaging conversation to achieve a cultural shift for the better.

We-Consent is funded by the Department of Justice and the Community Foundation Ireland.

Speaking about the campaign, the Minister for Justice said:

I am delighted to support the We-Consent campaign, which focuses on achieving a cultural shift and significant behavioural change. It’s time for all of us to talk honestly and openly about consent, sex and relationships. We all have a role to play in this national conversation, regardless of age, gender, sexuality or relationship status. This campaign adds to the work that Government is doing in our Zero Tolerance Strategy on domestic, sexual and gender-based violence to achieve a society which does not accept these crimes or the attitudes which underpin them. My Department was very proud to support DRCC in undertaking the extensive research which has informed their approach to this and I would like to congratulate DRCC for bringing forward this ground-breaking campaign which I believe is representative of an evolving Ireland.

Noeline Blackwell, Chief Executive Officer, DRCC said:

Sexual violence blights so many lives in Ireland – around a third of us have been directly harmed by it. Our aim in this campaign is to emphasise the positive values of consent which in turn can help reduce the levels of sexual violence. We believe a greater understanding of consent will make our society more equal, happier and healthier – as well as safer. Every one of us has capacity to learn more and do more when it comes to consent and this campaign will need every one of us to come on board to create a real shift in our society – not only for the next generation, but also for here and now. We believe this campaign will spark long overdue conversations about the kind of values we want to define us and the meaning of equality within our culture – Ireland is ready for these conversations.

Denise Charlton, Chief Executive, Community Foundation Ireland added:

We-Consent marks the start of a long overdue conversation on sex and relationships. The Community Foundation Ireland was proud to partner with DRCC two years ago for ground-breaking research which showed that while 70% of people believe Ireland has a problem with consent, there is also a huge lack of understanding. With this campaign, we will together bridge that information gap. Conversations will be sparked in homes, workplaces, pubs and clubs bringing a spotlight on an issue which has been ignored for too long.

The We-Consent campaign will run for the next three years with workshops and communication initiatives planned nationally to help inform and engage the population. Information will be provided with the aim of informing open, inclusive and progressive conversations.

Visit for more information and resources.


The DRCC  and its creative agency Language undertook research in 2021 and 2022 amongst people in Ireland about their attitudes and behaviours towards sex, sexual relationships & consent. 

In 2021, both a nationally representative survey and a series of focus groups were completed on DRCC’s behalf by Opinions Research and Karen Hand.

In 2022, the second stage of research, undertaken by Opinions Research, consisted of a survey amongst a nationally representative sample of the population. This phase gathered more specific information to inform the development of a model of consent.

The second stage also included eight group discussions among people aged 25-55 in November 2022 as well as a series of focus groups with marginalised and under-represented communities. This research was undertaken by Lorraine O Rahilly.

Findings included:

  • 70% think we have a problem with consent in Ireland.
  • 1-in-3 say they are too embarrassed to talk about sex.
  • 81% agree talking about consent would result in more healthy sex and sexuality.
  • 72% agree a better understanding of consent will help equality.
  • 21% reported that they agree with the statement “Sometimes people say ‘no’ when they want convincing”.

33% reported that they agree with the statement:

Having sex is just part of a long-term relationship – you’re not always up for it but you’d go along with it”.

The DRCC is a non-governmental, voluntary organisation which has as its mission to prevent harm and heal the trauma of rape. It offers a suite of services to victims/survivors of sexual violence. It also offers a wide range of training and education to professionals and volunteers. 

DRCC operates the National 24-hour Helpline 1800 778888 to support anyone affected by sexual violence in any part of the country. A web chat support service is available online at Mon-Fri, 10 am-2 pm. A Helpline Interpreting Service is available for those who do not speak English – more at

For those contacting the Helpline who are deaf or hard of hearing, we provide a text service, operating Mon-Fri from 8 am to 6:30 pm, at 086-8238443 and we also have a webchat service available Monday-Friday, 10 am to 5 pm, except holidays.

We ask that when reporting on this topic, journalists should remember that discussions on sexual violence can trigger personal trauma in those receiving the information. Where possible, please refer to the National 24-hour Helpline 1800 77 88 88 for anyone who may be affected by the report. 

Examples of the national ad messages:

Sex, maybe. Fun, hopefully. Consent, always.


Just because it’s date night…
Just because the kids are at Granny’s…..
Just because you’re married…
Doesn’t mean you can assume consent


72% agree a better understanding of consent will help equality. Consent is for everyone.