What is Consent?

Dating can be amazing when you both click but it can also get a little confusing sometimes especially when it comes to sex and making out. It can be unclear what the other person is thinking or how intimate they wish to get, we are not mind-readers after all. However, before you take things any further, it’s important to obtain their permission, which means their consent. A lack of understanding of what is meant by consent and that consent is crucial in all sexual activity can be a contributing factor for unwanted sexual activity and assault.

Maybe you’re a little unsure about what consent is – and what it isn’t? You may have heard the idea that “no means no,” but this doesn’t really cover it because it puts the responsibility on one person to resist or accept, rather than both of you being responsible for taking things to the next level. It also makes consent about what a partner doesn’t want, instead of about being able to openly express what they do want. Consent should be freely given, and an enthusiastic, clearly communicated and ongoing yes. Never assume consent.

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Communication

The most important part of any relationship (be it platonic, sexual, professional) is honest, open communication. To enhance your experience , open frank communication is the way to go. We are all different sexually and it is important that each partner are aware of what each other likes and does not like. Communication can make sex more comfortable for both parties and helps voice concerns before, during  and after sex.

Consent

When having sex, consent is an agreement between both partners that they definitely want to have sex, or engage in a sexual act. Both partners need to fully and clearly agree to it, and it must be continuous for the duration of sex, be it intercourse of outercourse. That means that either partner has the right to change their mind at any time throughout the activity. This is not limited but can include vaginal, anal or oral sex, mutual masturbation, sexual touching or kissing. Consent can be expressed both verbally and physically. It must be enthusiastic, conscious and voluntary. If consent is not expressed, this is not sex – it is assault!

So if you’re engaging in sexual activities, remember to always ask for consent and to communicate.

The Rape Crisis Centres throughout the country provide support to victims both male and female of rape and sexual assault . The service they provide is to support victims of sexual abuse and to provide information surrounding rape and assault. If you have been sexually abused they can accompany you to the Gardaí or police, help arrange a medical forensic examination at a SATU, give you information about what happens next.

Services of the DRCC

The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre provides support, information, counselling and advocacy services to help people recover from the trauma of sexual violence. Our aim is to offer a safe and confidential space where women and men of all ages can be listened to and supported without shame or self-blame. If you or someone you know has been raped or sexually abused, you don’t have to manage alone. Please remember if you need any help or are unsure of what to do, call the National 24-Hour Sexual Violence Helpline 1800 77 8888 where you will get support and guidance from a trained person.

Please click on the following link to find the location of your nearest RCC
Links to other RCC’s

For more support and information from your student union
Link to USI

HELPLINE

PHONE: 1800 77 88 88
If calling from abroad please call: +353 1 6614911

Rape Crisis Services

Abuse, Domestic Violence & Rape

Amen HELPLINE: 046 9023718 is an organisation which provides a confidential helpline, information and support service for male victims of domestic abuse.

Aoibhneas HELPLINE PHONE: 01-8670701

Provide facilities, professional help and support. The helpline offers a free professional counselling service to women and men who are suffering from violence in the home

Children at risk in Ireland “CARI” HELPLINE: 1890-924567

Provides many services among them is the provision of therapy for children, young people and families who have been affected by child sexual abuse. Through the Helpline people can access other CARI services, receive parenting information and advice, or even just find someone to talk to. They also provide a telephone helpline service on 1890-924567.

Rape Crisis Network FREEPHONE: 1800 778888

Offer a confidential, 24-hour telephone helpline, 7 days a week staffed by trained counselors who are available to listen to you and any concerns you may have in regard to issues of rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment or childhood sexual abuse.

Women’s Aid FREEPHONE: 1800 341 900

The Women’s Aid National Freephone Helpline offers confidential information, advice, support and understanding to women who are being physically, sexually or mentally abused in their own homes. The Helpline also acts as a referral to refuge, counselling services, solicitors, legal aid and other agencies, both statutory and voluntary, which are helpful to women experiencing abuse within a relationship