Sexual Trauma and Recovery Service (STARS Dorset) launched a series of t-shirts, tote bags and sweatshirts raising awareness around the theme of ‘consent’ for the Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week which took place in February 2022.

In 2021 the charity with support from Arts University Bournemouth Students’ Union ran a competition asking for designs around the theme of 'consent'. The charity hoped that these designs would promote discussion and also help raise vital funds for it’s work across Dorset supporting those who have been affected from any form of sexual assault. From all those that entered two designs were chosen and developed: 'Hands Off The Artwork' by Kate McMullen and 'no means no' by Beth Trim. Both the winners are students at the Arts University Bournemouth.

All the merchandise is available to view and buy through a dedicated Teemill website here:

Kate McMullen originally submitted one design, her Botticelli's Venus design, which the judges loved and they then asked Kate to further develop and she created a further four designs. In Kate’s words, "I was inspired to use Botticelli’s Venus in my original design to make the point that nudity is not an invitation and the sexualisation of bodies (particularly women's bodies, though this problem does transcend gender) within our culture is why sexual trauma is so prevalent. I decided to include nudity from classical art as it tows an interesting line between obscene and academically accepted. The writing is an empowering message about knowing you are beautiful and setting your own boundaries. Just because a body is beautiful it does not mean anybody has the right to touch it."

Beth Trim submitted several designs but the judges chose her slogan design with the simple words ‘no means no’ which was then produced in the colours of the charity’s logo. In Beth’s words "I was inspired by the slogan shirts that have seemingly ordinary designs but then upon reading the words there is an important message or an unexpected phrase. I am really intrigued by the juxtaposition there. This topic can be incredibly moving for many, so I wanted to approach the design from a place of simplicity and pertinence. Getting straight to the point with typography that is nice on the eye and easy to interpret paired with the familiar iconography of the smiling face. Suggesting that ‘no means no’ is truly an irrefutable fact and must be followed, particularly in the context of sex and relationships."

Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week is an annual week dedicated to bringing together organisations and communities across the UK to raise awareness and campaign against sexual violence.

STARS Dorset is a pan-Dorset charity that offers one to one support, free of charge, for anyone of any age or gender who lives, works or studies in Dorset and has be affected by any  form of sexual violence at any time in their life. The charity offers a telephone supportline service, a one to one counselling service, an Independent Sexual Violence Advisor service and they also have a dedicated Children and Young People team. All their services are free and for that reason they rely heavily on donations and the generosity of time from volunteers. Last year the charity supported over 2000 people across the county.