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Sexual consent is an agreement to participate in sexual activity by someone with capacity and in the absence of coercion or force.

  • Agreement is freely wanting to have certain sexual contact
  • Under New Zealand law, consent has a specific meaning. The Crimes Act 1961 Section 128A defines capacity to consent. Consent can’t be given if someone:
    - is under 16;
    - is being forced or threatened;
    - is unconscious;
    - is too drunk;
    - is too high on drugs; or
    - has physical or mental impairment that means they can’t consent.
  • Consent is ongoing and active. You are free to stop and withdraw consent at any point and your partner needs to respect this.
  • Consent is informed and specific. Consenting to one type of sexual activity isn’t consenting to everything.
  • Consent needs to be sought every time. You can’t assume that you have consent just because you’ve had sexual contact before.
  • Consent can be communicated both verbally and non-verbally.

Sexual violence includes any unwanted or unconsented sexual behaviour, comments or harassment.

No consent = sexual violence

More information

For more information about consent, check out the NZ Police website or Bodysafe.