Suffer In Silence

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  • Consent
    Consent is someone giving permission or agreeing to something, after they have thought carefully about whether or not they want to do something.
    • To be able to give your consent you should be sure that it is your decision and not one you have been pressured to make.
    • The law in Britain says that both people need to give their consent before sex or any physical closeness.
    • The law also says that to consent to sex a person must be over 16 and have the ability to make informed decisions for themselves.
  • Being pressured 
    If you are being forced or pressured into doing sexual things you don’t like or aren’t sure about, then this is abuse. There are ways someone might try to make you do things without physically forcing you, these can include:

    • Being made to feel stupid or bad for saying ‘no’
    • Being told you would do it if you loved them
    • Being bullied into having sex
    • Being encouraged to drink lots of alcohol or take drugs to make you more likely to have sex
    • Manipulating your emotions, for example saying ‘If you loved me you would…’
  • Making sure you have got consent
    • Sex with any girl/boy under 16 is unlawful, including oral. It doesn’t make any difference if permission (consent) is given or not, if you’re under 16 sex is illegal.
    • Consent to one sort of sexual activity does not mean you are getting consent to everything. Permission is required for each activity.
    • Consent may be withdrawn at any time. If your partner changes their mind, it’s their right to do so.
    • Even if you have had sex with someone before, you still need permission the next time.
    • Giving oral sex to someone without permission is rape.
    • If you do not get consent – it’s rape.
  • More things to look out for to make sure you have consent
    • When it comes to sex or physical closeness you should feel safe with your partner, be able to trust them and feel that they would respect you whatever your decision.
    • Good communication between you both will help to ensure you know how your partner feels about sex or physical closeness. It is a good idea to check things out with your partner by asking if they are enjoying what you are doing and asking if they want to continue.
    • Reading body language is also important. If your partner is relaxed it is likely that they feel comfortable. If they are tense, they may be nervous or frightened and are probably trying to hide how they really feel.
    • Someone doesn’t have to say the word ‘NO’ to withhold their permission, there are lots of ways they might say they don’t want to do something or have sex.
    • Sometimes people might find it hard to say anything at all if they don’t want to have sex, so you should always look out for other signs that they might not be comfortable and might not be giving their consent.

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