We are encouraging all our students to learn more about consent through our online module, ‘Consent Matters’, on QMPlus to learn how to recognise and ask for sexual consent, look out for others on campus, and where to find support if needed.  

The training is relevant for everyone, regardless of sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, race, religion or belief. Its aim is to empower us to shape healthy, positive and respectful relationships with others. 

Defining consent 

Consent is understood as agreeing by choice, and having the freedom and capacity to make that choice. Being free to make a choice means that nothing bad would happen to them if they said no. A person has the capacity to make a choice when they can physically and mentally understand the consequences of that choice. 

Consent to sexual activity may be given to one sort of sexual activity but not another.  Consent can be withdrawn at any time during sexual activity and each time activity occurs. It is important to respect a person’s decision and ability to withdraw consent if they change their mind. 

Consent is affirmative and enthusiastic. It is not simply the absence of a ‘no’.  It is an ongoing conversation. Being able to provide affirmative and enthusiastic agreement to engage in sexual activity means: 
  • That there is no pressure or coercion, and no threats (implicit or explicit) to obtain that agreement;
  • That the person consenting is not asleep, unconscious, or so affected by drugs and alcohol that it impairs their ability to freely consent. 
Please note that the training covers difficult subjects.  If you have been affected by sexual violence or any of the issues raised in the training, support is available.

You may wish to get in touch with Queen Mary’s Advice and Counselling Service, or you may prefer to reach out to a specialist support organisation, such as Rape Crisis.  Full details of support options can be found here.

You can also report any incidents of sexual violence, harassment, hate crime or bullying here.

Complete our online module, ‘Consent Matters’ today.

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