What is consent?
All the information in this section mainly comes from educaloi.qc.ca. If you want more infromation on consent or any other questions regarding the law, don’t hesitate to consult this valuable resource.
Consent in sexuality, what is it?
Consent in sexuality is given by one partner to the other before any sexual act.
Consent must be :
- Given voluntarily and enthusiastically. If it’s forced or you are being threatened, the consent becomes automatically invalid.
- Just to be clear : Silence DOES NOT count as consent! The person has to manifest her consent through her speech, her behavior or both.
- Consent is given by the person who participates in the sexual act. If the consent is given by a third party, it doesn’t count.
- Consent isn’t valid if the person has been intoxicated, voluntarily or not, by alcohol, drugs or medication.
- Consent is CONTINUOUS and can be REVOKED AT ANYTIME. You have the right to know and respect your own limits and to stop anything you don’t like or even to stop completely what you are doing with your partner (kissing, massages, intercourse, etc…).
***If someone refuses to participate to any sexual act, and the other person forces her to in spite of her refusal, there is no consent, and therefore, she is being sexually assaulted.***
Consent and its particularities :
- If a person doesn’t resist a sexual activty physically, it doesn’t mean that she gives her consent.
- Verbal or nonverbal consent must be given throughout the sexual activity. You can say no now even if you said yes earlier.
- In the same vein, when your partner starts something new, he has to get your consent. To repeat what was said above, consent must be given at each step of a sexual acitivity. For instance, you may want to kiss your partner but not go further, and this is something your partner MUST respect.
- A person’s consent is no longer valid when the person isn’t able to consent. For example, consent is not possible if the person is unconcious or under the influence of drugs.
- Consent can be withdrawn at anytime. In fact, it could be during the sexual activity that the person doesn’t want to continue. She has the right to remove her consent entirely in that situation.
- As soon as a person expresses her refusal through verbal or non-verbal communication, the partner must stop as well. If this person doesn’t stop his actions and continues, he is committing a sexual assault.
Minimal age of consent for sexual activity :
In Canada the minimal age of consent is 16 years old. This doesn’t mean that teens under this age can’t have an active sexual life with other teens if they want to. However, there are certain particularities to that :
For teens of 12-13 years old :
- Her partner must be less than 2 years older than her.
- Her partner can’t be in a position of authority or in a position to exploit or create a dependency for her. For example, a person in a position of authority could be a teacher, a coach, a employer, etc.
For teens of 14-15 years old :
- Her partner must be less than 5 years older than her.
- Her partner can’t be in a position of authority, or in a position to exploit or create a dependency for her. For example, a person in a position of authority could be a teacher, a coach, a employer, etc.
***If you have questions don’t hesitate to contact us***