Most of the time when people talk about consent, they are referring to some kind of sexual or physical activity with someone else. Consent is about openly talking and agreeing on what kind of activity you want to engage in, whether that’s holding hands, kissing, touching, sex or anything else. It’s really important for everyone to feel comfortable with what’s happening.

Both parties need to seek and give consent but it is ultimately the person seeking consent who has the responsibility to ensure it is given and understood.

  • If in any doubt, assume that consent has NOT been given
  • It’s also important to check that the other person continues to consent – ask ‘Are you happy with this?’ and ‘Are you sure?’, and to stop immediately if the answer is not ‘yes’ (the absence of a ‘no’ is not the same as a ‘yes’)
  • Consent must be enthusiastic – if it’s not an enthusiastic yes, then it’s a no
  • Saying ‘If you don’t want to, that’s ok’ is also very important

Sexual activity without consent is an offence.

How we’re funded

SARC Teesside is jointly commissioned by NHS England and the Police Crime Commissioner for Cleveland.

Charitable donations also help support our work.

They were lovely and made me feel comfortable. Out of hours staff were lovely as well. Talked to me and made me feel at ease and safe

Female, 18, Medical Examination, Police Interview

Brilliant, could not of got through this tough time without all the help from staff. Thank you for everything

Male, 20, Support Session

The staff are really helpful and lovely they could not have done more

Female, 35, Police Interview

Excellent, very supportive, listened and gave good advice. A massive thank you to the staff for being so supportive with my daughter and myself at this traumatic time for her. You do an excellent job.

Female, 47, Medical Examination, Police Interview
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