Most of the time when people talk about consent, they are referring to some kind of sexual or physical activity with someone else. Consent is about openly talking and agreeing on what kind of activity you want to engage in, whether that’s holding hands, kissing, touching, sex or anything else. It’s really important for everyone to feel comfortable with what’s happening.
Both parties need to seek and give consent but it is ultimately the person seeking consent who has the responsibility to ensure it is given and understood.
- If in any doubt, assume that consent has NOT been given.
- It’s also important to check that the other person continues to consent – ask ‘Are you happy with this?’ and ‘Are you sure?’, and to stop immediately if the answer is not ‘yes’ (the absence of a ‘no’ is not the same as a ‘yes’).
- Saying ‘If you don’t want to, that’s ok’ is also very important.
Sexual activity without consent is an offence.
We think the link below provides a simple explanation around consent by imagining that instead of initiating sex you’re making them a cup of tea.
Find your local SARC
The Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) in Teesside provides 24/7 support to anyone who has experienced rape and other sexual offences, whether this has happened recently or in the past.
SARC Northumberland Tyne & Wear opened in September 1991 to provide a free, confidential counselling, support and advice service for women (aged 16 and over at the time of the assault) who have been subjected to an attack of a sexual nature.
The Meadows Sexual Assault Referral Centre aims to provide a sensitive and comprehensive service to residents of County Durham and Darlington who have experienced rape or sexual assault.