With many new students enjoying Freshers Week this week, we’d like to take a moment to talk about consent.
Meeting new people, making new friends and starting new relationships is exciting. But sometimes things can move too quickly, and people might be unsure.
Consent should always be sought, no matter how clear you think it might be. If it’s not a clear yes, it’s a clear no.
Sexual consent is where a person has the ability and freedom to agree to sexual activity.
So, what is consent and how do you get it?
Make sure the other person is participating freely and readily.
Confirm if you have consent both verbally and by checking the other person’s body language.
Someone on drugs or too drunk to make decisions doesn’t have the capacity to give consent.
If someone is on drugs or seems too drunk to consent, or you’re not sure, stop. Wait until they are sober and ask them again.
Somebody who is asleep or unconscious cannot give consent.
Other things can also affect a person’s capacity to consent. Examples include a serious mental health problem, learning disability or a head injury. Having capacity means the person can make and communicate a decision, understanding the consequences and knowing they have a choice.
If they cannot do this they cannot give consent.
Your partner has the right to withdraw their consent at any time. Once consent is withdrawn you must stop engaging in sexual activity immediately.
Always remember, if they said yes before or earlier in the night, they can change their mind.