Let’s Talk About Consent…
*Trigger Warning – this post will touch upon the topics of consent, sexual assault & rape. If you are triggered by these topics, it is probably best to click off of this post*
Okay, so to begin with I’m writing this blog post because I feel as though a lot more open dialogue needs to be had surrounding the topic of consent; recognising that I have a platform such as this I felt that I could to pro-actively start trying to facilitate the open dialogues that I wanted to start seeing happen.
This week I read a really worrying Metro article (Linked here) which highlighted the statistic that 53% of the people in which they surveyed think that it’s not okay to withdraw consent after you’ve taken your clothes off. This statistic genuinely broke my heart to read. There is absolutely no point in which you are unable to withdraw your consent, you can decide to say no at any point (even during) and the person whom you are with has to respect that & stop; If they don’t that then becomes a serious crime.
Something that I also want to touch upon is that the absence a clear “No” does not mean that there is consent, just because you have not expressly said No to sex, doesn’t mean that your consent can be implied. Consent really is as simple as, if you haven’t said yes, in some way, then it’s no and consent doesn’t exist, regardless of situation.
Also just because you have consented to have sex with someone before doesn’t mean that consent is there every single time, if you had sex with someone last Saturday, but don’t want to have sex with them this Tuesday, you have every right to say no to them, regardless of any previous encounters. This also applies to relationships, just because you are in a relationship with someone, does not mean that they have your automatic consent, if you don’t want it, you have every right to say no and have that choice respected by your partner, again if they don’t respect that, it then becomes a crime.
Nobody can force you to give consent, if you feel as though you have been forced into giving consent then Women’s Aid suggest that in this type of situation, consent also doesn’t exist as only you can give your consent and if you feel pressured or forced into doing so then you aren’t freely consenting to it.
The most important thing about consent, I believe, is that it’s yours to give and it is completely about how you feel in a situation, you can give and withdraw consent at any time, even if you have already taken your clothes off, started having sex or anything, if you decide that you no longer want it, you have absolutely every right to withdraw your consent.
A video that I have also found really useful when discussing consent is this one, created by Thames Valley Police :
As this video states, Consent is Everything.
If you have been in a situation where you didn’t give your consent, then it is important to talk to someone that you trust about it and take steps to report this to the police. There are also organisations that offer support to survivors of rape & sexual assault.
If you need help & support you can find it here:
I really hope that this blog post has been as the open dialogue, informative post, that I hoped it would be.
As always thank you for reading,
Until next time,