A 2016 survey by Amnesty International stated that 67% of Czechs believed that rape victims were partly to blame for their rape. As a response to this horrifying statistic, we decided to found Konsent and started asserting that it’s not a short skirt that’s the cause of a rape, it’s a rapist. That gave rise to our first campaign “When they don’t want it, they don’t want it ” followed by workshops on primary prevention of sexual violence in schools called “When they want it”.
From 2017 onward, we have also been operating a self-help group for women who have been victims of sexual violence.
In 2019, we decided to take a stand against harassment in bars and clubs with our campaign “Respect is sexy” and created a network of establishments that do not tolerate harassment. Because flirting is hot, harassment is not. In the meantime, the demand for our workshops for young people only grew and we realised we didn’t have enough workforce to deliver our workshops in all Czech schools. To solve this problem, we came up with a new project “No taboos in the classroom” funded by the OSF charity where we developed methodologies for teachers that would provide them with the knowledge of how to properly deliver sex education. And because sex education begins at home with the family, we also offer workshops for parents on how to discuss sex or cyberbullying with their children.
Our international project dealing with gender-based violence in cyberspace called Power brings young people together who then educate their peers about cyberbullying and cyberviolence.
Harassment doesn’t only occur in nightclubs but also in workplaces and universities. For this reason, we started the projects Respect is professional and Respect is universal, both of which support institutions in tailoring the right environment for preventing and even correctly responding to sexual harassment. In a step towards sexual violence prevention and our overall displeasure with the current legislation, in 2021, we also took it upon ourselves to start lobbying for the change of the law regarding rape.
Our campaigns are very well received on social media and our whole organisation is a part of various national and international networks such as the Czech Women’s Lobby or the European Women’s Lobby. We received several awards for our work, for example in 2019 we were awarded the Gratias Tibi Award by People in Need, we made it to the top ten of the SDG Awards, and our campaigns placed high in the Fénix Marketing Awards. In 2019, we received the Františka Plamínková Award. Our founder and CEO Johanna Nejedlová became the Woman of Europe 2019 in Youth Activism and one of the Bitch 50 in 2020.
We have had long-term collaborations with the Czech Government Council for Gender Equality, Embassy of the United States, Embassy of Norway and Avast Foundation. We have been endorsed by Avon, Frida Fund, Capital City Prague, Lush and Absolut Vodka. Primeros is our long-term partner and in media we have partnered with the Heroine magazine, Radio Wave and A2larm. We have been recently backed up by the project Caught in the Net.
We also sell our own merchandise, the proceeds of all purchases go towards the functioning of Konsent.