WHAT IS CONSENT?
Consent means giving permission for something to happen or agreeing to do something and being comfortable with that decision. It doesn’t matter what gender you are, how you identify your sexuality or whether you’re in a long or short term relationship, if you’re planning to do anything sexual then all parties must give consent.
Consent and good communication are an essential pairing in a healthy relationship, as it’s crucial to hear and respect the other person’s wishes. You need to take responsibility for seeking consent from your partner every time you have a sexual encounter, as people can change their mind at any point, even during sex. Just because someone consented to something once, it still means you have to ask again as they could feel differently from last time; likewise consent to one sort of sexual activity does not mean consent to everything.
how to get it
If your sexual partner isn’t specifically saying ‘no’ they may still show you they’re non-consenting through their body language. If your partner seems tense, they may be nervous or frightened and are probably trying to hide how they feel. They may stop kissing you or not want to be touched or hugged.
These could be signs of non-consent, so don’t ignore them – check with the other person. If somebody agrees to sexual activity because they’ve been pestered, intimidated, or faced physical or emotional threats, they have not given consent. Consent needs to be given freely.
So if someone’s unconscious, drunk or asleep, they cannot freely give consent. Someone may have consented to sex whilst awake, but if they then pass out or fall asleep during, you have to stop. You can’t assume they want to carry on.
The University has partnered with the Consent Collective, which is an in-depth, year-round, expert-led, ever-growing selection of online resources to support you and our Leeds Arts community. They work to blend a wealth of expertise with activism to help communities talk about sexual harassment, sexual violence and domestic abuse.
Using this informative online learning material, specialist training and engaging events we can better respond to reports of sexual harassment, support students and staff living with a history of sexual or domestic abuse, and reduce the likelihood of such incidents by maintaining a safe culture at our institution.
All of us need to learn about consent, power, difference, relationships and how to be a supportive member of a community that is safe for everyone. These are life skills that we will all need as we navigate our professional and personal relationships. To access this library of helpful information and support, you can sign in online using your University email address.