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What is consent?

Sex without consent is rape. A person must have the freedom and capacity to consent to any sexual activity in order for this consent to be given.

RapeandSexualOffencesEmeraldLogo-August2017If you aren’t sure or can’t remember what happened to you, you can still come forward and tell us what you know.

If you or anyone you know are worried or anxious and you think something may have happened to you, you can call 101 or go to any police station. You will be given the opportunity to discuss your fears with a specially trained officer.

We understand that some people might not want to speak to the police because they were drunk or on drugs at the time of their assault and may think it's their fault – it's not.

If you are incapacitated due to drink, drugs or being asleep or unconscious, or have particular learning disabilities, you may not be capable of consenting to sexual activity and anyone who pursues it is committing a crime.

Consent is not automatically given if in the past you have had sex with the same person, even if this is your partner, or if you began sexual activity and then changed your mind. Pursuing sexual activity at this stage is still a crime.

It’s important to know that if you come forward to police you will be treated with the utmost respect and sensitivity – we are not here to make any judgments about you.

This video by our colleagues at Thames Valley Police explains the issue of consent in simple terms, by comparing the giving of consent to drinking a cup of tea.

 

 

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