If it is not your body it is not your decision
Sexual consent means a person agrees to have sex or sexual activity and they are free and able to make their own decision. It is really important to get and give consent before any sexual activity. Consent should always be clear, so if you are in any way unsure check you have it. If you or partner feels a hesitant stop and ask. Sexual activity is only right when it is between two people who have given consent unless you both clear about what you are doing and are capable of making a choice you are breaking the law.
If in doubt just ask
The best way to find out if a person is willing to have sex is to simply ask. This will stop you from guessing and trying to interpret mixed signals. A person can also give nonverbal consent by engaging in the activity but always remember they are allowed to change their minds.
To know if someone is giving consent you need to be able to answer these two questions
- Does the person want to give consent?
- Is the person capable of giving consent?
What if the person does not/cannot give permission?
If your partner ever says no or changes their mind during the encounter you must stop immediately. Saying no should not be a game it is not a signal that they are playing hard to get.
Simply put NO means NO in any sexual encounter.
In certain circumstances, the person legally may not be able to give consent. These circumstances involve cases in which a person is mentally or physically incapable of choosing whether to engage or not in the activity. For example, if the person is drunk or high on drugs then they cannot give consent to the activity even if they seem eager to engage in sexual activity doing so can legally be considered sexual assault or rape.
Age can also determine whether the person can legally consent to certain sexual activities such as intercourse, oral sex or anal sex. The legal age a person can consent to sexual activity is 16. Having sexual activity with someone under the age of 16 is considered a crime called statuary rape, even if the person agrees.
JESSICA CUTHBERTSON – CYP VOLUNTEER