Consent is Hot! campaign hit coffee shops this weekend


Patrick Hanaway holds his latte from Soma Coffeehouse with the "Consent is Hot!" cardboard sleeve on the outside. The sleeves are part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Nicole Krasean and Nicole Krasean Buy Photos

How hot is consent?

At coffee shops, about 200 degrees.

“I like the play on words; it raises awareness,” Soma patron Patrick Hanaway said as he placed his latte in a labeled coffee sleeve.

The label on his latte read “Consent is Hot! Got ?Consent? Ask.”

Hanaway was in town Sunday for a memorial. He had never been to IU before, but campus sexual assault is no foreign topic.

“I talk to my sons about it with my wife,” said Hanaway, whose two sons attend college at University of North Carolina campuses.

“We talk to them about respect and consent,” Hanaway said. “A lot of people think that it’s a woman’s issue. It’s not. It’s a people’s issue.”

Soma is one of more than 20 local coffee shops distributing the cardboard coffee sleeves during Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April.

“More than a third of the women I know have been sexually assaulted,” Hanaway said before leaving Soma for the memorial, coffee in hand. “It changes their lives. As men, we need to be way more sensitive and have ?awareness.”

The coffee sleeve campaign is co-sponsored by the Monroe County Prosecutor’s Office, the IU Dean of Students Office, IU Sexual Assault Crisis Service, the Monroe County Sexual Assault Response Team, IU Culture of Care and It’s On Us – Indiana University, according to a press release from the ?prosecutor’s office.

Soma received a box of imprinted coffee sleeves Friday morning. By Sunday afternoon, they were mostly gone.

“What we have out is what’s left,” Soma manager Greg Hays said during the busy Sunday afternoon. “I think that it would help with awareness.”

The coffee sleeve message resonates with other campaign themes, including “Only Yes Means Yes” and “Silence, Passed Out, Intoxicated, Fear – Is Not Consent.”

This month, the prosecutor’s office will also conduct live presentations at various locations around campus, titled “Blame It On The Alcohol? The Truths, Myths, and Laws of Sexual Assault.”

“This is a creative way to get the message out about an important issue in a college town,” Monroe County Prosecutor Chris Gaal said in the release. “We received an enthusiastic response from local businesses eager ?to participate.”

City Bakery is another local company distributing ?the sleeves.

“We are thrilled to be part of this effort,” Robert Himmel, owner of City Bakery said in the release. “I hope it starts some early morning discussions about what consent means.”

The “Consent is Hot” idea echoes messages in a video about consent produced by the prosecutor’s office called “Let’s Talk About Sex.” The video has received more than 13,000 views on YouTube.

“The message of asking for consent is definitely the right one,” said Debbie Melloan of IU Sexual Assault Crisis Services in the release. “It’s a message that’s always ?relevant.”

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