There are a lot of things technology can change and support, but when it comes to tackling the sexual assault crisis, it’s a cultural shift we need — not another app.
But an app is what NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller has suggested, floating the idea that couples could use a phone to record sexual consent.
While there are no direct plans for such technology, Fuller suggested that such an app would see both partners recording their consent before being intimate.
“Dating has changed,” he told the Today show.
“If you’re single the primary way you are dating now is online.
“Technology plays such a big role in our lives, potentially technology could be one of one of many solutions to trying to stop this increase in sexual violence in our state.”
So does agreeing in the app legally bind you to having said yes? What if you change your mind? What if you want out?
And who would such an app really protect?
These are just some of the questions being posed on social media this morning in response to the app — which is largely being blasted as a very bad idea.
Which makes you wonder, why suggest such an option at all? What’s the agenda?
Fuller said he suggested the app to “start a conversation” and says that a conversation has occurred, so he’s done his job.
“We need to have some pretty confronting conversations in this space because this is not a matter of just saying that this crime is a problem. This crime is increasing every day exponentially.”
But to “start a conversation”, even a “confronting conversation”, is too vague. We need a lot more. We need real actions and real leadership regarding a cultural shift around consent. One that involves all areas of the community — from parents to schools to workplaces and leaders in governments — getting involved in advocating for change, and suggesting and funding real solutions that actually acknowledge the needs and desires of those who are most impacted: women and girls.
Let’s give a little credit to Fuller for speaking out, even if he did so while suggesting a very bad idea.
His words are far more than we’ve seen from other leaders on this issue.