Consent

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Consent: (v.) give permission for something to happen.

Consent is very important in many aspects of your life (relationships, intimacy, friendships, work relationships, etc.).


When it comes to consent:

  • Consent can be withdrawn at any time.
  • Consent once doesn’t mean consent always.
  • If you aren’t sure about consent? ASK!
  • Confirm consent, never assume consent. 

Communicate openly and ask questions, don’t assume because someone is “nice to you” or “dressing a certain way” or “has let you before” that they are giving you consent to their bodies, their belongings, their personal space, etc.

Consent often times is discussed when it comes to sexual activities yet consent can be required for various acts, sexual, intimate, or even work-related.


For example:

If you’re at work and see that your co-worker, who has always been nice to you,  brought two sandwiches for lunch.

Instead of just assuming,

“Well, I’m sure they won’t mind plus they have two of them, I can have one.”

You ASK for their consent.

You: “Can I have one of your sandwiches?”

Co-Worker: “Yeah sure!”

You: “Okay, thanks!”

Now it may seem silly using a food example, but same thing can go for intimate and sexual relationships.

 “Can I kiss you?” 

“Do you want to have sex with me?” 

“Do you want to try (insert sexual activity)?”

Communication in relationships is already one of the key factors to a healthy relationship.

Communication and consent go hand and hand.

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In a healthy relationship open communication and knowing each other’s boundaries is really important. Everybody has the right to control their possessions, their body, etc. and what happens to them.


Now if your co-worker would have said

“Uhm… No. I wanted both of them...”

You respect their decision.


Things not to do:

  • Coerce them into giving you the sandwich.
  • Threaten them into giving you it.
  • Manipulate them into giving you it.
  • Forcefully take it from them.

Coercion isn’t consent.

Having to manipulate someone into saying yes or into getting your way isn’t consent.

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And if the co-worker had given you one of their sandwiches before, you still ask consent for a second, third, tenth, hundredth time.

Get consent each and every time.

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And to confirm consent ask yes or no styled questions to make sure there is consent before starting or continuing.

  • A “maybe” isn’t a yes.
  • A “I don’t know yet” isn’t a yes.
  • A “I might.” isn’t a yes.
  • A “I guess so… Uhm… Well…” isn’t a yes.

Now one very important fact about consent is that consent can be withdrawn at any time.

  • Consent CAN BE WITHDRAWN AT ANY TIME.
  • Consent CAN BE WITHDRAWN AT ANY TIME.
  • Consent CAN BE WITHDRAWN AT ANY TIME.
  • Consent CAN BE WITHDRAWN AT ANY TIME.
  • Consent CAN BE WITHDRAWN AT ANY TIME.
  • Consent CAN BE WITHDRAWN AT ANY TIME.
  • Consent CAN BE WITHDRAWN AT ANY TIME.
  • Consent CAN BE WITHDRAWN AT ANY TIME.

It’s okay for someone to change their mind at any time!


If for any reason you aren’t sure about consent, ask.

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Free PDF Poster Printable of Consent Questions

 

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