Rape happens to people of all genders and sexualities. About 92 percent of victims are female and eight percent male. Most rapes occur between people who know each other in some way.
Together we can stop rape by ensuring everyone knows when they have sexual consent – and when they do not.
Make sure you get consent.
Sexual consent is where a person has the ability and freedom to agree to sexual activity.
Sex without consent is rape
Make sure the other person is participating freely and readily.
* You can confirm if you have consent both verbally and by checking the other person’s body language.
* Someone on drugs or too drunk to make decisions doesn’t have the mental capacity to give consent.
* If someone is on drugs or seems too drunk to consent, or you’re not sure, stop. Wait until they are sober and ask them again.
* Somebody who is asleep or unconscious cannot give consent.
* Other things can also affect a person’s capacity to consent. Examples include a serious mental health problem, learning disability or a head injury. Having capacity means the person can make and communicate a decision, understanding the consequences and knowing they have a choice. If they cannot do this they cannot give consent.
* Your partner has the right to withdraw their consent at any time. Once consent is withdrawn you must stop engaging in sexual activity immediately.
Sex without consent is rape
Rape is a crime. Rape occurs when a person penetrates another person’s mouth, anus or vagina with their penis without their consent. It happens to men and women. If someone initially agrees to have sex, but later withdraws their consent and the other person continues anyway, that person will have committed rape. Being drunk or on drugs is not a defence.
If you are accused of rape your future will change forever. You will be arrested and questioned by the police. Your belongings will be seized and your DNA taken, analysed and added to a database. If charged with rape you will appear at Crown Court for trial. If you are convicted of rape you could be sent to prison. The maximum sentence is life imprisonment. You would be ordered to sign the sexual offenders register.
After being convicted it may be harder to get a job or a place at university. You may not be able to travel to some countries. You may also damage or even lose relationships with friends and family.
* The person seeking or initiating sex is responsible for getting consent.
* Ask yourself if the other person is capable of giving consent.
* If they are on drugs or too drunk, asleep or unconscious they cannot choose.
* Some people living with a mental health problem, a learning disability or a head injury may not have the capacity to consent.
* You can confirm if you have consent by checking the other person’s body language and by asking them.
* Check with them each time you start a new type of sexual activity.
* Check with them on each occasion you start any sexual conduct.
* Look at their body language and facial expression to see if they are eager and comfortable.
* Ask them if they are okay.
* If they seem unhappy, or you are not sure they are consenting, stop.
* Silence, or the absence of a “no”, does not guarantee somebody is consenting.
* A clear affirmative freely-given “yes” indicates consent.