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About Sexual Assault

Consent


What is Consent?

Consent is a clear "yes" to sexual activity. Not saying "no" does NOT mean you have given consent. 

Your consent means:

  • You know and understand what is going on (you are not unconscious or blacked out or intellectually disabled).
  • You know what you want to do.
  • You are able to say what you want to do.
  • You are sober (not under the influence of alcohol or drugs).

Sometimes you cannot give legal consent to sexual activity or contact. For example, if you are:

  • Threatened, forced, coerced, or manipulated into agreeing.
  • Not physically able to (you are drunk, high, drugged, passed out, or asleep).
  • Not mentally able to (due to illness or disability).
  • Younger than the legal age of consent.

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What consent really means is a voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity. In other words, it means communicating yes on your own terms.

Tea and Consent

Sex without consent is sexual assault – it’s as simple as tea. The  “Tea and Consent,”  video is a PSA by the Thames Valley Police explaining what consent looks like using a metaphor that is so simple yet effective!

If you’re still struggling to understand the meaning of consent, just imagine instead of initiating sex, you’re making them a cup of tea. You say, “Hey, would you like a cup of tea?” and they go, “OMG, yes, I would LOVE a cup of tea! Thank you!” Then you know they want a cup of tea.


Even  Canadian law  has an affirmative standard for consent. This means a voluntary, enthusiastic “yes-I-really-want-to-and-thank-you-for-asking” type of consent – not a consent that’s implied on the basis of silence, previous sexual history, or what the person is wearing.

Consent does not need to be difficult or complicated!  We all can naturally tell when someone is consenting or not- it is just a question of respecting their choice. If there is any uncertainty at all, just ask. For example, it could be as easy as five simple words: “Do you really want to?"


Information adopted from ConsentED