Consent is when someone agrees, gives permission, or says 'yes' to sexual activity with another person(s). Consent needs to be enthusiastic, freely given, and can be withdrawn at any point during a sexual encounter.

Consent is not:

  • Silence
  • Passivity
  • Lack of resistance
  • Immobility
  • A smile
  • A revealing outfit
  • Friendly body language
  • Possible when someone is incapacitated by drugs or alcohol
  • Possible when someone is asleep
  • Mandatory because you are in a relationship (including marriage) with a person
  • Mandatory because someone has previously agreed to it
  • Mandatory because someone has agreed to go home with you
  • Mandatory because someone likes to regularly have sex
Consent is a mandatory and basic part of human relationships; no one has rights over anyone else's body, for any reason.

If you are still unsure about consent and how it works then watch this video that compares consent to tea.

Want to learn more?

Consent matters. That’s why all students at Durham University are required to complete an online course. Learn about sexual consent and how you can support others on campus. Access the course on DUO.
Consent Matters information for new students



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