Nova Scotia government stands by ads about sexual consent despite criticism

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HALIFAX - Nova Scotia's minister of labour and advanced education is standing behind an ad campaign that critics say doesn't send the right message about sexual assault.

Marilyn More said today that while the two ads might be jarring, they were shown in focus groups to be effective with their target audience of young men.

The ads — one called "Do Me" and the other "Take Me" — are intended to educate young men about consent and sexual activity.

Smaller print on the billboard completes the messages: "Do Me a Favour and Leave," and in the second, "Take Your Hands Off Me."

But some young women and groups that work with victims of sexual violence say the ads don't explain clearly enough that consent from someone who has been drinking or taking drugs does not qualify as true consent for sex.

More says focus groups with men aged 16 to 25 showed the ads would make a difference in how they thought about consent and would affect their behaviour in positive ways.

Geographic location: Nova Scotia

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