In the Know

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Do It Right


Relationships are hard to understand sometimes, but it's important to know the facts.

Key information you need to know:

  • Having sex with someone who doesn't want to is rape. The law says that only a male can commit rape because the definition by law is that rape is committed with a penis. (Rape victims can be male or female).
  • So you can't 'guess' or assume that the other person wants sex just because you do. If you have sex with someone without checking for consent you are putting yourself at risk of being charged for rape. That's why it's so important that you always check the other person is really up for it before going ahead.
  • If a girl is drunk, she can't give consent - that's the law. It means even if she says yes in the moment, the boy is still putting himself at risk of committing a rape.
  • If the boy is drunk, it would make no difference in the eyes of the law - if there are any signs of a girl not wanting to have sex, it could be rape.
  • It's actually classified as rape if she's saying no in any way at all. She might not say 'no' but if she's indicating it in other ways, it's the same thing in the eyes of the law.

Make sure you know about the consequences...

  • The consequences can be huge. It is still rape even if violence is not used, and the person committing it could go to prison, get a criminal record and be put on the sex offenders register. This will have a serious and huge impact on the future, such as making it hard to get a job.
  • It’s not enough to say you weren’t thinking straight – don’t do something you could end up regretting. If you go ahead without checking, saying ‘I wasn’t thinking’ or ‘I forgot to ask’ won’t get you off the hook.

Everyone has a choice in wanting to have sex...

  • So what is consent? Everyone has a choice in wanting to have sex, and consent is a positive decision; it’s saying that you’ve decided you really want to have sex, each and every time. Read more here.
  • There are a million reasons why someone might not feel like having sex, e.g. a girl might be on her period, no condoms available, a person might have other things on their mind and not feel like it.
  • It’s totally normal to kiss and do other stuff but not want to have full sex.
  • Remember, everyone has their own limits - it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about that.

Read on to find out more on how to read the signs and get the facts so you’re in the know.

Looking for information on what makes a healthy relationship? Check out the relationship checklist to find out if you treat your partner (or your partner treats you) with respect.

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