Being clear on consent
If you are going to be sexually active whilst at university, it is important that you understand consent. Consent is an important issue, and we want to encourage our students to think about and discuss sexual consent to create a safe Halls environment.
What is consent?
Sexual consent means a person willingly agrees to have sex or engage in a sexual activity – the person has the ability and freedom to agree to sexual activity. Making sure you get and give consent before having any kind of sex with another person/people really matters. Sex without consent is rape or sexual assault.
It is important to remember that consent cannot be given by individuals who are underage, intoxicated or incapacitated by drugs, or asleep or unconscious. If you are unsure about whether someone is able to give consent you should not engage in sexual activity with that person.
How does consent work?
When you’re engaging in sexual activity, communication is key. Communication should happen every time for every type of activity. Engaging in sexual activity with someone in the past doesn’t give that person permission to engage with you sexually in the future. It is ok to consent to one form of sexual activity but not another. If someone hasn’t clearly communicated their consent and wish to engage in sexual activity, consent hasn’t been given.
Can you change your mind?
Yes, when it comes to consent you can change your mind at any time. Consenting to one type of sexual activity is not consenting to all sexual activity. You can withdraw consent at any point if you feel uncomfortable. One way to do this is by verbally communicating that you are no longer comfortable with the activity and want to stop.
What does consent look like?
When it comes to consent, you should look for the presence of a 'yes' and not the absence of a 'no'. The important part of consent, is checking in with your partner regularly to make sure that they are still on the same page. Whether you’re in a relationship or have had sex with someone before, giving and receiving consent is an ongoing process. Unsure if your partner is consenting? Stop and get confirmation.
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