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.