If someone doesn’t agree to sexual activity by saying ‘yes’ and sexual activity goes ahead, this is called sexual assault and is against the law. ‘Sexual activity’ isn’t only having sex, it can be touching another person, groping, forced kissing, oral sex, and masturbation.
It gets very confusing when drugs or alcohol are involved as this can affect people’s ability to make decisions and consent maybe unclear, also people’s judgement of being given consent gets muddled.
Even when drugs or alcohol aren’t involved it can be confusing. It’s okay for anyone who has previously agreed to sex, to decide on another occasion they don’t want sex. Then again someone who starts participating in sexual activity may suddenly decide they want to stop. Some people will feel comfortable doing some things but not others. People should always have the right to refuse consent.
So you see it’s just not a straight forward case of ‘Do you want to do it?’ and it stops with the simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answer!
You need to get this right and help is at hand. A video has been made which compares having sex with having a cup of tea! It asks if you offer someone a cup of tea, but they’re not sure if they want one, do you make them have a cup of tea. What about if they start by wanting a cup of tea and when you’ve made it they change their mind? Do you still make them have a cup of tea? What about if they’re unconscious? …………you get the picture!
Have a look at the video:
If you have been a victim of sexual assault you don’t have to report it to the police, but you can still get help. Whether you are a girl or boy you can call Rape Crisis South London which has a free rape and sexual abuse support help line: 0808 802 9999.
Here are some useful links:
There is confusion about consent, but there shouldn't be - so the Crown Prosecution Service is encouraging people to talk about the issue and understand it, by using the hashtag #ConsentIs on Twitter and Instagram.