Cookie Consent by
a woman sitting on a bench

Residential Life

Let's talk about: CONSENT

By Konrad 04 Sep 2022

What is consent?

Consent is permission for something to happen. For example, giving permission for someone to kiss, touch or for oral, vaginal or anal sex.

  • Consent is given freely. It cannot be given by someone who is unconscious, intoxicated, under the influence of drugs or being intimidated.
  • Consent is specific. Consenting to one thing like kissing, does not mean that there is consent for everything.
  • Consent can be taken away. Consenting once does not mean the consent stays forever.
  • Consent is informed. Lying about certain intentions like unprotected sex cannot be consented to.

What if there is no consent?

Doing something sexual to someone without their consent is sexual assault or rape.

Think of it as:

  • Did you both agree to sex, and all of the activities you did?
  • Did you feel like you could say no?
  • Could your partner say no to you?

How can you give and receive consent?

You can express consent through words or body language.

It's okay to change your mind at any time.

What means yes and what means no?

The absence of a “no” DOES NOT mean “yes” – only an enthusiastic “yes” means “yes”.


Verbal signs

  • Don't stop, more!
  • I want to/you/it/that..
  • I love this/That feels good
  • I'm ready/sure
  • I like it when you do that
  • Suggesting sexual activity

Non-verbal signs

  • Eye contact
  • Pulling someone closer
  • Nodding "yes"
  • Comfortable being naked
  • Active touching
  • Smiling/laughing
  • Relaxed facial expression
  • Enthusiastic moans


Verbal signs

  • No
  • I'm not sure/scared/not ready
  • I don't want you/it/that..
  • I want to but....
  • Maybe
  • I'm not ready/I'm not sure I'm ready

Non-verbal signs

  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Pushing someone away
  • Shaking head "no"
  • Uncomfortable being naked
  • Avoiding touching
  • Crying/looking sad or fearful
  • Tense facial expression and body
  • Silence/whimpering voice

Where you can get help

If you've been sexually assaulted or raped, you are not alone. If you need urgent medical help or police assistance, call 999. You can contact your local RA team and they will be able to direct you to the appropriate service. You can also visit the Sexual Assault Helpline page for some helplines you cal call.

More resources: have a look at this comprehensive booklet.