27th September 2018

Sexual Health Week - Consent:
Yes, yes, yes!

This year's Sexual Health Week takes place this week, 24-30 September, with a prime focus on consent - a topic that forms the basis of all relationships, sexual health, and wellbeing.

The ‘Consent: Yes, yes, yes!’ campaign1 will be about reinforcing the fact that consent is about far more than saying ‘No’ to unwanted activity. It’s about listening, negotiating, and enthusiastically agreeing.

The Family Planning Association (FPA) will be looking at what young people understand about consent; what should be taught in schools; how consent can be negotiated; and good and bad examples of consent in the media.

Consent defined…1

Sexual consent is where a person has the ability and choice to agree to sexual activity.

Sex without consent is Rape! Rape can happen to people of all genders and sexualities. About 92% of victims are female and 8% are male. Most rapes occur between people who already know each other.

Make sure you get consent.

How to get consent…2

  • A clear, confirmatory, freely-given ‘yes’ represents consent
  • The individual initiating or seeking a sexual act is responsible for obtaining consent, but they also have the right to withdraw their own consent
  • Is the person intoxicated, under the influence of alcohol or drugs? You have to ask yourself whether they are capable of giving consent?
  • If the person has a learning disability or a mental health issue, you need to assess whether the individual has the capacity to give consent
  • Consent should be obtained at the beginning of every type of sexual activity and on each occasion
  • Sexual consent can be withdrawn at any given moment during the sexual activity so be aware of your partner’s body language; are they still happy? Ask them if they’re okay to continue and, if unsure, stop
  • Be aware; silence or the absence of a ‘no’, is not to be taken as a guarantee that somebody is consenting

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Let’s work together and help prevent rape by speaking out and challenging views you know to be wrong! 

And remember: always play safe! (It is Sexual Health Week after all).

Useful telephone numbers:

National Sexual Health Helpline

Provided by Public Health England. Call:  0300 123 7123 (Monday–Friday, 9am to 8pm).

FPA Sexual Health Enquiry Service

Helpline Northern Ireland – 0345 122 8687 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, except bank holidays).

Reference

  1. The Family Planning Association. Consent: yes, yes, yes! Campaign. 2018. Available at: https://www.fpa.org.uk/sexual-health-week/sexual-health-week-2018 [Accessed 24 September, 2018].
  2. Consent is Everything. 2018. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.consentiseverything.com/. [Accessed 21 September, 2018].