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Understand Consent

Being drunk is no defence for raping someone.

Sex without CONSENT is RAPE.

So, what is consent?

Under s74 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003
•    Someone consents if s/he agrees by choice and has the FREEDOM and CAPACITY to make that choice.
•    Consent may be given to ONE sort of sexual activity but NOT ANOTHER, or with conditions, such as wearing a condom. Consent can be WITHDRAWN AT ANY TIME during sexual activity and EACH TIME activity occurs.
•    In investigating the suspect, it must be established what steps, if any, the suspect took to OBTAIN THE COMPLAINANT'S CONSENT and the prosecution must prove that the suspect did not have a reasonable belief that the complainant was consenting.

What does that mean?

•    Even if the person you are with says they are happy to kiss, touch or have sex with you it doesn't count if they are scared of you, are very drunk or are high on drugs.  They cannot give true consent.
•    If you are having sex with a girl or boy and they change their mind you have to stop when they tell you.  If you do not you are committing the act of RAPE.
•    It is up to you to check the person you are with wants you to kiss them, touch them or have sex with them.  

Check your knowledge

You're on a night out with friends and you're having a few drinks.  Say you meet a guy or girl, you start kissing, you end up back at theirs and it looks like it will go further.

Do you think this is an invitation to have sex?

•    It doesn't matter what you think might happen, if you do not have the person's consent but proceed to have sex with them, drunk or sober, this is classed as rape.
•    Just because you have kissed or gone further before doesn't mean they have consented to have sex.
•    The person you are with can tell you to stop and can withdraw their consent at ANY TIME even DURING sexual activity.
•    If someone has had too much alcohol or drugs to know what they are doing then that person may not be seen to have consented and you could be committing an act of rape.


What if you're married or in a serious relationship with them?  They say they're not in the mood but you had sex this morning. 

Is it still classed as rape?

•    It doesn't matter if you have already had sex with them.  You need consent EACH TIME sexual activity occurs.
•    Being married to them or if you are in a serious relationship does not matter.  You still need their consent which they have to give freely and with the capacity to do so.
•    If the person you are with is financially dependant on you or if you hold a position of power over them they might not be seen to have the capacity to give their consent.


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