What is consent?

I thought you loved me

What is consent?

When thinking about sex, consent is the one lesson that everyone needs to learn and understand.

Consent is the definitive YES that means agreeing to do something sexually. Consent is saying YES when you have the opportunity and ability to say NO.

Sexual activity without the other person’s clear YES is rape. It is not OK for someone to expect you or your friends to do things you don’t want to. Listen to your instinct; if it doesn’t feel right – tell someone.

That might sound simple but sometimes it doesn’t feel it. Often having sex is lots of assuming without much talking taking place. This leads to lots of people having sex when they don’t feel ready or have even actually consented.

That might be because it feels embarrassing or awkward to talk about sex & consent but unfortunately the lack of communication not only leads to hazy consent but also means we might not have as good an experience as if we had fully known what we were getting into. If someone feels under pressure to say YES or feels too scared to say NO or are too drunk or under the influence to give any answer – the absence of a YES or NO doesn’t mean YES!

Random Fact…

Approx 80% of young people don’t have sex until after they are 16; THERE IS NO RUSH – no matter what you think!

Still not sure, how about looking at what the law says:

‘A person consents if they agree by choice, and have the freedom and capacity to make that choice.’

‘A person commits rape if they intentionally penetrate the vagina, anus or mouth of another person with their penis without consent.’

‘A person commits sexual assault if they intentionally touch another person, the touching is sexual and the person does not consent.’

What age can you consent to sexual activity?

The Serious Stuff

The age of consent to any form of sexual activity is 16 for both men and women.

There are specific laws in place to protect children under the age of 13 who cannot legally give their consent to any kind of sexual activity.

It is also important to know that a person under the age of 18 cannot consent to sex if it is with a person who has a duty of care or is in a position of authority or trust, such as a teacher, doctor or lecturer.

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