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  • Gracie Williams

No Means No, but it can also sound like...

Consent is something we have all heard of, but unfortunately many do not understand.

I remember watching a video in school about consent and it was a comparison of making a cup of tea... It sounds strange but for a young girl, it was a good way of explaining it. Let me explain:

If you ask someone if they want a cup of tea and they say no, would you make it?

If you ask someone if they want a cup of tea and they say ‘not right now’, would you make it?

The answer is no…

The same idea applies for when you ask someone if they want to have sex with you (obviously this is on a more serious scale but like I said, it is a good way to think about it especially as a young girl!).

We often hear of cases of sexual assault and the perpetrator says, ‘well they didn’t say no?’ and they believe that this is a good excuse.

  • What did they look like?

  • Did they look like they felt uncomfortable?

  • Did they seem distant?

  • Did they look in pain?

Likewise, ‘no’ comes in many forms. For many, saying ‘no’ can be scary so they avoid it as much as they can to try and say no politely.

Here are some ways that someone may be saying no:

  • Not right now

  • I don’t know

  • I am not sure about this

  • It hurts

  • It doesn’t feel right

  • Wait

  • Stop

  • Can we stop?

  • I feel uncomfortable

  • I don’t want to do this anymore

  • Can we just wait a while?

  • I have a partner already

  • Maybe later

  • I don't want to

If someone is expressing that they may not want to do this or they feel uncomfortable, stop. Without consent, it is sexual assault. When someone says any of the above and you carry on, that is sexual assault. Be cautious, be kind, and be safe.

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