Before doing anything intimate with anyone else you should have consent – even for kissing.
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Relationships and sex should be fun and enjoyable, with both partners saying ‘yes’!

Take Action: How much do you know about consent? Take the Pause/Play/Stop quiz.

What is Consent?

Consent means you agree that something can happen. Sexual consent is where a person agrees to sexual activity.  Sex without consent is rape.

Consent can only be given by a person who has the ability and freedom to consent, either verbally or through body language. Consent must be given for all sexual activity.

Crucial: Sexual activity can range from kissing to touching each other, to full-on sex.

Thames Valley Police have created a video to help explain consent.

Tea and Consent

Age of Consent

The age that you can legally have sex in the UK is 16. The age is the same for everyone, whether you’re male, female, transgender, bi, straight, or gay.

It is illegal to have sexual activity with someone under 16. However, if both partners are under the age of 16, a similar age, and both agree to have sexual activity it is unlikely they will be prosecuted. The law is there to protect young people from being pressured into sex.

Crucial: Even if the police decide against prosecution, the young person’s parents or the young person themself still can.

Children under the age of 13 are given special protection and cannot give consent to any sexual activity. Sex with a child under the age of 13 can result in a life sentence in prison.

Instant Expert: Read the full Law on Sex factsheet

If you're under 16, you can still get confidential advice about contraception, emergency contraception and sexual health.

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