SBS’ New Landmark Doco Series ‘Asking For It’ Premieres April 20


Readers please note that this press release contains mention of sexual assault.

Every day in Australia around 85 sexual assaults are reported on average [1] – which is likely to be a fraction of the total number that occur – with an estimated 90 percent of sexual assaults going unreported. [2]

Premiering on Thursday 20 April at 8.30pm, SBS’s ground-breaking documentary series Asking For It explores the sexual revolution we’re all living through: one that’s taking us from the ‘sexual liberation’ of the 1960s and ‘70s to the era of ‘enthusiastic consent’.

Journalist Jess Hill, (See What You Made Me Do) returns to SBS with Asking For It, reigniting a national conversation about the epidemic of sexual violence impacting millions of Australians. From schools to universities, aged care and in institutions – this series asks: how can we change our rape culture into a consent culture?

Over three episodes, Jess joins advocates who are forcefully driving change in Australia and learns why they are insisting on quality consent education, embedded across our national curriculum, from kindergarten onwards. Jess meets the prominent victim survivors spearheading Australia’s consent revolution including Saxon Mullins, Grace Tame, Noelle Martin and Adele (delsi) Moleta who shed light on their experiences navigating the legal system, fighting for law reform and dealing with trauma.

Throughout the series Jess interviews a range of experts, community groups and consent educators from across Australia and beyond our shores: from the incredible work being done to educate male youth by sex and consent educator Richie Hardcore, to Reset Australia, leading the charge in tackling emerging digital threats. Jess experiences the joy of a consent friendly LGBTQIA+ dance party and reveals the pioneering work in South Africa that’s testing bespoke care centres and courts to create a cocoon of care and justice for victim survivors. 

Presenter and Consultant Producer Jess Hill said: “The last sexual revolution liberated us from abstinence culture – thankfully – but it turns out that true sexual freedom is still only for some. As #MeToo has shown, ‘sexual freedom’ can be expressed at great cost to those who’ve had sex they didn’t want. The consent revolution is the next evolutionary step towards a truly liberated sexuality where everyone involved can expect to feel pleasure. I hope this series really gets people thinking about their own life experiences, and pumps new energy into the national movement to end rape culture.”

SBS Head of Unscripted Joseph Maxwell said: “See What You Made Me Do was one of SBS’s most successful factual programs in 2021 and we’re proud to partner again with Jess Hill and the team at Northern Pictures. The series exemplifies SBS’s role in supporting ground-breaking documentaries that tackle the big issues of our time.”

Director Tosca Looby said: There’s nothing simple about consent – but we’ve worked hard to take the audience on a carefully crafted journey through the wilds of this issue that’s so fundamental and so misunderstood. We travel with survivors, all the way through our justice system and out the other side – deeply disturbed by what we find. We meet the best educators in the consent game – the people determined to get it right. And the audience, from teenage boys to the elderly, who want to speak openly and frankly about sex, in the pursuit of healthy, consent rich relationships!

SBS current affairs program Insight, hosted by Kumi Taguchi, will air an episode exploring the topic of consent at 8:30pm AEDT on 25 April as an accompaniment to Asking For It.

SBS Learn will deliver teaching resources based on selected clips from Asking For It, exploring respect, consent and power through age-appropriate materials for school students. Developed in partnership with the eSafety Commissioner and Body Safety Australia, these resources aim to equip students with the skills to navigate the complexity of healthy and respectful relationships. 

Asking For It will be subtitled in five languages, streaming on SBS On Demand in Arabic, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese.

The series will also be available with audio description for blind or vision-impaired audiences.

A Northern Pictures Production. Principal production funding from Screen Australia. Developed and produced in association with SBS Australia. Post-produced in Sydney, NSW with the assistance of the NSW Government.

Asking For It premieres 8:30pm Thursday 20 April on SBS and SBS On Demand. The three-part series continues weekly.

[1] Based on ABS statistics from July 2022, there were 31,118 sexual assaults reported in 2021 – on average there were almost 600 (31,118 divided by 52 weeks = 596 per week) sexual assaults reported every week or on average there were 85 sexual assaults reported every day (31,118 divided by 365 days = approx. 85 per day). Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics. “Sexual assaults increase for tenth year in a row.” ABS, 28 July 2022, accessed Jan 2023.

[2] In almost 9 in 10 incidents (87%, or 554,000), women who experienced their most recent aggravated sexual assault by a male in the last 10 years did not contact the police. Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2020. Sexual assault in Australia. Cat. no. FDV 5. Canberra: AIHW, accessed Jan 2023

Press Release

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