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What is consent?

What is consent?

Consensual sex is when both parties, being of legal age, agree to engage in intercourse by choice and they have the freedom and capacity to make that choice. This is agreeing to sexual relations without fear, coercion, force or intimidation. Giving consent is active, not passive. It means freely choosing to say ‘yes’. You can also choose to change your mind at any time.

If you were excessively drunk, drugged, asleep, ill or detained against your will, it is unlikely that you had the capacity to consent. It is also a crime to pose as a person, such as a doctor or for your partner to trick a person into consenting.


“I said no and he tried to talk me into it. Then he started shouting and getting angry. In the end I went along with it. I was too scared to say anything.”

“I was in a pub. This guy asked me to have sex. I didn’t respond, and escaped to the loo. He followed me in, pushed me into a cubicle, and raped me.”

“I told him I was too tired to have sex. I went to sleep, and woke up to find him starting to have sex with me. He refused to stop.”

None of these people consented.