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Consent

Only yes means yes. Without consent, it is rape

There are many misconceptions about what counts as consent, but our message is simple; only yes means yes.

Consent is freely and actively given and is mutually understandable words or actions between partners, which indicate a willingness to participate in mutually agreed upon sexual activity.

Our advice is to remember that the absence of a ’no’ is not a ‘yes’, and silence or uncertainty is not consent. Someone cannot give their consent to engage in sexual activity if they are:

  • incapacitated by drugs or alcohol
  • asleep or in a vulnerable position
  • under pressure
  • being psychologically or emotionally manipulated
  • being threatened, assaulted or blackmailed
  • feeling intimidated.

 

Sexual consent

Even if you have had sex with someone before, it doesn’t mean you have consent to do it again. It must be given each time you initiate sexual activity.

Consent can be withdrawn at any time during the sexual encounter and should be given at each step of the intimacy. Just because someone consents to one activity, it doesn’t mean they are willing to go further.

Offenders often try to blame the victim for their actions. If you have been a victim of an assault, remember that this abuse is never ok and is never your fault, no matter the circumstances.

  • If they change their mind, you don’t have consent
  • just because you’re married, it doesn’t mean you have consent
  • the way they dress doesn’t mean you have consent
  • if they are unconscious you don’t have consent
  • just because they’ve let you before, it doesn’t mean you have consent.

If you aren’t sure or can’t remember what happened to you, you can still come forward and tell us what you know.

If you or anyone you know are worried or anxious and you think something may have happened to you, you can call 101 or go to any police station. You will be given the opportunity to discuss your fears with a specially trained officer.

We understand that some people might not want to speak to the police because they were drunk or on drugs at the time of their assault and may think it's their fault – it's not.

Only yes means yes. Report a crime online.

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