Ensure I have consent before having sex with someone
To understand what consent is and how to make sure you have it before you have sex with someone.
Let's start with why this is important:
- asking for and obtaining consent makes your sexual relationships safe, respectful and ensure everyone enjoys themselves
- remember if consent is not given by all partners involved in the sex it is sexual violence
You should have sex with someone you are attracted to and only once you both consent. If sex is happening without your permission it is a crime. If someone is forcing themselves onto you or manipulating you to have sex, this is an offence.
If you have experienced any of the following:
- forced, unwanted sex and/or sexual acts or touching including from a partner, friend or relative
- touching your body without consent such as grabbing your bottom or breasts.
you are a victim of sexual assault.
Here is a list of services that can support you if you are ready to reach out:
1800 RESPECT call 1800 737 732, a confidential 24 hour hotline for anyone who has experienced sexual assault or domestic violence
SEXUAL ASSAULT CRISIS LINE VICTORIA call 1800 806 292, a confidential 24 hour hotline for anyone who has experienced sexual assault
NATIONAL DISABILITY ABUSE AND NEGLECT LINE call 1800 880 052, a confidential 24 hour hotline to report abuse and neglect of disabled people
LIFELINE call 13 11 14
Not sure exactly how to get consent or what it looks like? It's just the same as a cup of tea as this video explains.
For video transcript, click here.
Age matters even with consent
The law in Victoria sets clear age limits for when you can legally have sex. This is called the age of consent. You cannot have sex with even if you agree if you are under 12 years of age, if you are 12-15 years old even if you agree you cannot have sex with someone more than two years your age and if you are 16-17 you cannot have sex with a person who is caring or supervising you ( a teacher, sport coach, youth worker, foster carer)
A person can be charged with a sexual offence if they perform a sexual act that breaks these age limits, even if the younger person agrees to it.
The age of consent is the same for any sexual relationship regardless of the gender or sexual orientation of the people having sex.
Here is a list of signs that your partner does not understand consent
- not paying attention to you, only doing what feels good for them and ignoring what you want
- They tell you what you’re going to do without asking how you feel about it. For example: “We’re going to [do this sex act] tonight,” or “Do this.”
- They move your hands or body to where they want them, without checking with you first.
- They don’t ask before touching you.
- Your partner ignores you when you say no or express hesitation.
- They ignore boundaries you’ve set before. For example, they “forget” to put on a condom after you talked about using protection
Test your consent knowledge
Consent is when you give and get agreement before taking part in any kind of sexual activity with someone else. See how much you know about consent by taking this quiz.
Legal Aid Victoria's guide to all things sex and the law
Reachout's guide of what to do when you have been sexually assaulted
Information from 1800 Respect on consent