What is consent?
Consent is when someone freely and voluntarily agrees to engage in sexual activity, including kissing and touching.
Consent is important every time and at every step of sexual activity.
You have the right to change your mind at any time – including during sexual activity.
Not everyone is able to give consent, for example if you are:
- Under 16
- Unconscious or impaired by alcohol or drugs
- Scared to say no
- If the other person has authority over you.
You always need to check you have consent – even if you are in a relationship.
Asking directly is the best way to make sure everyone feels safe and comfortable.
Watch some examples of how to check for consent:
For more information
What is sexual assault?
Sexual assault is when you do not consent, or are not able to consent to sexual activity with someone and they do not respect your rights.
Sexual assault is a term that describes a range of offences. For example, it may be sexual assault if someone:
- Does something sexual that makes you feel uncomfortable
- Touches your body when you do not want them to
- Forces, manipulates or tricks you into sexual acts
- Talks you into doing something sexual you’re not comfortable with
- Threatens to do something to you if you don’t participate in sexual activity, eg. fire you, evict you, give you low grades, tell someone else
- Doesn’t stop if you change your mind during sexual activity
- Does something sexual to you when you are asleep, affected by drugs or alcohol, or too young to consent.
Sexual assault is most often committed against women and children by someone they know such as an intimate partner, family member, friend, an ex-partner, neighbour or work colleague.
Sometimes sexual assault is committed by someone you don’t know.
1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men in Australia have experienced sexual assault since they were 15 years old.
Sexual assault does not always involve a physical injury.