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Don’t believe the myths

Your body belongs to you. Only you can decide what to do with it. If someone wants to touch you sexually, they need your consent.

Don't believe the myths

Did you know?

  • Consent is giving permission with the capacity and freedom to do so, without being pressured, bullied, manipulated, tricked or scared into saying “yes”.
  • It doesn’t have to be verbal, but it needs to be real, obvious, and ongoing. If someone seems unsure, stays quiet, moves away or doesn’t respond, they might not be giving consent - you must check. It’s common for people to find they are unable to move or speak during a sexual attack.
  • Consent must also be given for taking, sending and sharing of images and videos.
  • Consent only lasts as long as you want it to.
  • You can change your mind and say “no”, move away or indicate that you want it to stop in another way at any time. The other person must respect this.
  • Whether you’re in a relationship, married or have just met the person, consent is required.  Every. Single. Time.
  • Giving consent one time, for one sexual activity, is not giving consent every time for all sexual activities
  • If a person is asleep or unconscious, they can’t give consent. If a person is under the influence of alcohol or drugs their ability to give consent is impaired. If someone has a mental health disorder or illness they might not be able to make an informed choice.
  • If a person is under 16 years old they legally can’t give consent.
  • Someone removing a condom during sex after you only agreed to have sex with one (known as 'stealthing') is rape.

If you say “no”, or indicate otherwise that you want it to stop, they have to stop. If they don’t, they are committing sexual assault or rape. Any sexual activity without consent is sexual abuse. There is no grey area.

Common Myths

Many myths about consent, rape, and sexual assault can stop people from getting help or reporting it.

We don't believe these myths and won't doubt you because of them. No matter who you are or what happened, we're here for you.

  • Myth: Someone who gets drunk or takes drugs should be blamed for their rape or sexual assault.

    Reality: Someone who is unconscious, or very drunk or high, can’t give consent. Having sex with someone who is incapacitated is rape.

  • Myth: Victims are only raped or sexually assaulted by strangers.

    Reality: Most rapes are committed by people the victim knows. Perpetrators can be friends, colleagues, neighbours, family members, or partners.

  • Myth: If someone has consented to sex once, they consent every time.

    Reality: Sexual assault can happen in relationships, or between people who have had sex with each other before. Consent needs to happen each and every time. Without consent, it’s rape or sexual assault.

  • Myth: Rape and sexual assault always involves physical violence.

    Reality: A perpetrator may threaten a victim’s job, reputation, family, or their relationship with the victim, to force them to ‘go along with sex’ with them or other people. This is not consent, this is complying through fear of the consequences. Sexual abuse can involve no physical contact – taking, recording and sharing of images without the other person’s knowledge, for example; upskirting, downblousing, sharing unwanted sexual images and cyber flashing.

  • Myth: Some people think that if someone is flirting, or wearing revealing clothing, they’re ‘up for it’ and consenting to sexual activity

    Reality: No one asks to be sexually assaulted. Rape, sexual assault and harassment have nothing to do with the victim’s appearance, how they are dressed or how they behave. The fault sits with the perpetrator.

  • Myth: Many people think that it’s not sexual assault if they still have their clothes on.

    Reality: Sexual assault is any sexual touching that happens without consent. It could happen in the middle of a work day, at a party, or on public transport—places where people are fully clothed. It could also be perpetrated by taking, recording and sharing of images without the other person’s knowledge, for example; upskirting, downblousing, sharing unwanted sexual images and cyber flashing.