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WHAT IS CONSENT?
Consent should be the basis for every sexual encounter. Making sure that your partner consents to a sexual encounter is one of the most important parts of both partners enjoying a satisfying sexual experience. Engaging in a sexual act without the other person’s consent is considered sexual assault or rape and it is illegal.

Watch these videos, or scroll down to read more about what consent means:

Source “Thames Valley Police” Published on 16 November 2015

Consent is:

  • Mutual – all partners enthusiastically wanting and agreeing to the sexual act(s)
  • Informed – all partners understanding what they are agreeing to and participating in
  • Freely given – consent is given and respected, not taken, coerced, forced or pressured
  • Communicated – either verbally or non-verbally
  • Retractable – consent can be withdrawn at any time for any reason. Saying yes to something doesn’t mean saying yes to everything
  • The law also says that to consent to sex a person must be over 16 and have the ability to make informed decisions for themselves

Consent is not:

  • Forced
  • Involving threats, intimidation, coercion, or pressure
  • Assumed (even for long term partners)
  • Silence
  • Drunk or high (partners must be “capable” of giving consent)
  • A lack of resistance
  • Muddled communication or misunderstandings
  • Just about saying yes or no – someone doesn’t have to say the word ‘NO’ to withhold their permission; there are lots of ways they might say they don’t want to do something or have sex.
Source “The Creation Lab” Published on 1 Nov 2013

Consent means that both people in a sexual encounter agree to it, and either person may decide at any time that they no longer consent and want to stop the activity. Consenting to one activity does not obligate you to consent to any other activity. Consenting on one occasion also does not obligate you to consent on any other occasion. Consenting means only that at this particular time, you would like to engage in this particular sexual activity.

Certain circumstances make it impossible for a person to legally give consent. These circumstances usually involve cases in which a person is not mentally or physically capable of choosing whether to engage in sexual behaviour. For instance, if someone is drunk or high on drugs, then that person cannot give consent.

For more information visit the great #ConsentIsEverything website by Thames Valley Police and partners. It has a myth buster section and more info on consent, what it is, and how to get it.

Womens Aid have launched a website #LoveRespect , providing information on healthy relationships, help and advice.

Source “The 401Show” Published on 28 Jan 2015
Source “Jack and Dean” Published on 6 Jun 2014
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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 use our service finder to locate your nearest clinic.

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