SEX & CONSENT
When it comes to sex, what does consent mean?
Consent is happily giving permission, or agreeing to do something. In lots of cases, giving consent needs to considered and thought about carefully.
To give consent, it is important to ensure that there is no pressure or coercion from anyone.
The person seeking consent must be sure that the person giving consent is happy about their decision.
Watch the video for a clear and simple explanation of giving and gaining consent.
Consent made simple – Video
When it comes to sex and physical closeness it is important to feel safe. Trust and respect should be shown beforehand. It is important that each other’s decisions on sex are respected.
Good communication between partners will help ensure that both people’s feelings and concerns about sex are considered and discussed. It is a good idea to check with one another if they are happy and comfortable in the moment.
Reading body language is also important, but is sometimes difficult. If a person is relaxed it is likely that they feel comfortable. If they are tense, they may be nervous, or frightened and are trying hard not to show how they really feel.
That is why it is good to ask…If you are not sure how they are feeling – you should stop.
A person doesn’t have to have sex. Many people prefer to wait until they feel completely comfortable. Everyone have the right to say ‘no’ to sex or physical closeness.
You control your body and have the right to decide what you are comfortable with.
Nobody has the ‘right’ to have sex, even if you are in a relationship. It is something you do together, not what one person ‘gets’ or ‘is owed’.
Sex should never be used to try and control another person.
It should not be a competition between friends.
Having sex without consent is rape.
Rape and sexual assault is never the victims fault.
No-one has the right to sex!
The law in Britain states that both people have to be over the age of sixteen to be able to consent to sex. Both people must be able to make informed decisions and have the capacity to choose if they want to have sex.
Both people must give their consent before they have sex.
HELP AFTER SEXUAL ASSAULT
If you have been sexually assaulted, there are services that can help. Sexual assault referral centres (SARCs) offer medical, practical and emotional support. They have specially trained doctors, nurses and support workers to care for you.
Remember, there are serious negative consequences to rape and sexual assault. Pressuring or forcing someone to have sex can result in mental health, physical health and legal issues.
There can also be negative physical and mental health effects for the victim. It is important to remember that is is not the victims fault.