What is consent?
Consent ensures that both people agree to have sexual contact or intimate activity and is a core foundation of any respectful relationship. It requires active communication, ongoing agreement and can be withdrawn at any time. When consent is withdrawn or cannot be given, sexual contact must immediately stop.
If someone has given consent in the past, it should not be assumed that they agree to further sexual contact. Consent can be given by words or actions, if those words or actions are clear indications of willingness to engage in sexual contact.
There are circumstances where a person is not able to give consent. Some examples include:
- If they are asleep or unconscious;
- If they are substantially intoxicated by alcohol or any drug;
- If they do not have capacity to consent because of their age, physical disability or cognitive capacity;
- If they are intimidated, coerced, or threatened;
- If they are unlawfully detained;
- If they are pressured to engage in sexual activities by another person, who is in a position of power, authority or trust;
- If they are tricked about the identity of any person involved;
- If they are tricked about the situation; or
- If they are under the age of consent
How to get Consent: Have the chat
Consent is a conversation. If you’re not sure what to say, here are some easy ways to start:
- Do you want to do this?
- What are you comfortable with?
- Can I kiss you?
- Would you like to have sex?
- How far would you like to go?
Remember, consent is ongoing: yes, yesterday does not mean yes again today. Just because someone was interested in something another time, or with another person, does not mean they consent again. Likewise, consenting to one thing does not mean consenting to another. Consent can be withdrawn at any time. Someone can decide they are no longer comfortable continuing to have sex and it’s your responsibility to stop.
When consent is not given and sexual contact is still made, it becomes sexual assault, which is a crime. When there is no physical contact but behaviour is disrespectful, of a sexual nature and unwelcome by the other party it is called sexual harassment. Any misbehaviour of this nature is not tolerated at CLV.
What can you do if you have experienced disrespectful behaviour?
If you have seen or experienced disrespectful behaviour including sexual harassment or sexual assault, we encourage you to speak to a member of the village team as soon as possible so we can support you through it. Click 'learn more' to find out what will happen when you speak to a member of our Team and all the ways we'll support you.
Know where the line is
It is important that you understand what is appropriate and respectful behaviour, versus what is disrespectful and inappropriate. Learn more about how to identify inappropriate and unwanted behaviour is, and how to make sure you're part of building a respectful community at CLV.