CONSENT IS LIKE AN ONGOING, ENTHUSIASTIC HIGH FIVE!
You can only consent for yourself
The person must be capable of giving consent:
- They must be AWAKE
- They must be in CONTROL of their mind and body
- They must be SOBER
- They must feel SAFE
- People in positions of power, trust or authority can’t abuse their position to get sex. Consent gets blurred when there is a power imbalance between the two parties, ex: Boss and Employee, Teacher and Student - because sometimes people use these positions of power (the fear of losing a job, missing out on a promotion or getting a failing grade) as a way to negotiate sex.
- WORDS and ACTIONS must be considered when obtaining consent. If you imply NO through your words or behaviours that counts as NO. Ex: if someone isn't verbally saying NO but their body language clearly portrays they aren't into it (laying stiff, not responding enthusiastically, avoiding eye contact, pulling away) that isn't consent
- You have the right to change your mind, say NO or STOP at any time. No past amount of sexual activity is automatic permission for further activity. Being partly undressed already or the fact that you hooked up with the other person last weekend doesn't mean you can't say you're not into it now.
Age of Consent in Canada
- Children under 12 are unable to consent in any circumstance
- With Children/Youth ages 12-16 there is some flexibility for peer partnerships that are close in age. This age group can still not consent with an adult.
- The official age of consent in Canada is 16 years old
If you're being pressured or forced into sexual activity
- Remind yourself that this is not your fault. The way you are dressed, the fact that you were flirting, your consumption of alcohol - these aren't reasons that you are to blame for being forced to do something sexual.
- Trust your gut. If it feels wrong and you are uncomfortable that's a sign that it's a bad situation.
- It's OK to lie to the person. Tell them you are sick, tell them you need to go to the bathroom, get a friend to call you with an "emergency". If you are feeling unsafe or uncomfortable it's OK to make up an excuse to get away.
- Try to think of a safe escape plan. Where is the nearest door? Where is your phone? Will someone hear you if you scream?
Links to Criminal Code of Canada