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This page contains information and support regarding consent including reading, links, resources and access to free training commissioned by Buckinghamshire Council.

Permission for something to happen or agreement to do something.

In terms of sexual consent it means to agree to have sex or engage in sexual activity. Sex or sexual activity can include kissing, sexual touching, oral, anal and vaginal sex with a penis or with any other type of object. Consent should be an ongoing conversation between those participating in sexual activity. No-one should be doing anything they do not wish to do or feel comfortable with. Engaging in a sexual act without consent is sexual assault or rape and it is illegal.

What is the definition by law?

You have to be 16 years old or older to consent to sexual activity.
If you are under the age of 13 you cannot give any form of consent.
Sending, receiving and creating nudes (indecent images) of under 18s is illegal, even if the images are self-taken with consent and sent to someone who has consented to receiving them. Asking for, creating, distributing and possessing nudes of someone under 18 is illegal. By law you need to be over 18 to send nudes. Sending nudes as an adult can have personal consequences. You must get consent before you press send. Not everyone wants a visual’

Consent in relation to sexual activity is defined in law: Section 74 of the Sexual Offence Act 2003.

  • Someone consents to vaginal, anal or oral penetration only if s/he/they agrees by choice to that penetration and has the FREEDOM and CAPACITY to make that choice.
  • Consent to sexual activity may be given to one sort of sexual activity but not another.
  • Consent can be WITHDRAWN AT ANY TIME during sexual activity and each time activity occurs.
  • For more information about The Sexual Offences Act and Section 74 click here 

The classic Tea video that explains consent using a cup of tea. An oldie but a goody.

Source “Thames Valley Police” Published on 16 November 2015

The videos in our playlist, explain and discuss consent in a variety of ways. They are suitable for teenagers and adults.

Worried a Child is at Risk? Worried a Child is at Risk?
Consent Is / Is Not Consent Is / Is Not

Need to speak to someone?

If you need further advice, or if this page hasn’t answered your questions then get in contact with your local bSHaW Sexual Health Clinic for a friendly chat.

Call 0300 303 2880 to book an appointment or return to the homepage for information on all bSHaW services.