A Guide to Consent


Swansea University Students’ Union

A Guide











Trigger warning: this leaflet contains explicit sexual terms defining

sexual assault and rape. Due to the subject of the matter, this leaflet

also contains myths and sensitive information regarding sexual


Swansea University’s Students’ Union is committed to

promoting and providing a safe and respectful environment for

every member of its community, by challenging abuse,

harassment and following the Sexual Misconduct Policy.

Sexual violence, sexual misconduct and sexual consent are

serious issues which everyone needs to have an awareness of

and understand.

Everyone has a role to play in advocating and promoting the

safe environment at Swansea University Students’ Union.

A 2019 survey reported that 64% of students and graduates

have experienced sexual violence across UK universities, with

only 1 in 10 of these cases being reported to the university or


What is Consent?

Sexual consent is a voluntary agreement to engage in sexual

activity, having the freedom and a capacity to make the

choice. It’s okay to consent to one form of sexual activity but

not to another. Sexual consent can be withdrawn at any time.

Sex without consent is a crime, known as rape and sexual

assault. It is not enough to assume someone wants sex,

consent should be sought and freely given with no coercion.

Consent and the law

Rape: the penetration of the vagina, anus or mouth of another

person with a penis without consent.

Assault by penetration: the penetration of the vagina or anus

of another person with a part of their body or anything else

without consent.

Sexual assault: sexually touching another person without their


Rape and sexual assault can occur within a relationship or

marriage. It is important to remember that not all cases of rape

or sexual assault are caused by a stranger.

Rape culture vs consent culture: What we are facing

Rape Culture: defining a culture where sexual abuse is

condoned and normalised through societal attitudes, images

and practices.

Consent Culture: a term used to define a culture where asking

for consent, establishing and respecting personal boundaries is

normalised through images, practices and societal attitudes

Myth busting

A myth is a false idea that many people believe to be true as a

result of societal influences. Myths are incredibly problematic

because they present a distorted view of the realities of sexual

violence. Especially at university, myths around consent can lead

us to:

Blame victims

Cause us to doubt what the victim is saying

Prevent us from addressing the real issues and sources and

causes of the problems.

Let’s be clear on consent.

“They were wearing a short skirt in a bar,

they were asking for it.”

Clothing is not consent. What a person is wearing and where

they go does not define consent. Yes means yes and no means


“He was all over me in the club, I bought him a

drink and he wanted to have sex with me.”

If someone is incapacitated ( “pissed”, “smashed”, or “drunk” )

from alcohol and/or other drugs, they cannot give consent.

“She told me she was feeling it! She said stop

after we’d already started, it was too late.”

Consent is mutual. Saying yes and then changing your mind is

okay, respecting boundaries and checking all parties involved

are comfortable and okay is consent.

Consent at University

Consent must be:

Given freely and enthusiastically. A person should not

pressure, manipulate or force anybody into doing anything.

A conscious decision. A person cannot give consent if they are

asleep, passed out or under the influence of alcohol or drugs, if

you are unsure if someone is able to give consent, you should

not engage in sexual activity.

Continuous. Giving consent to one sexual activity, does not

give consent to all sexual activity.

Sexual orientation

Sexual orientation is to do with who you like and sexuality is

about what kind of sex you like. Understanding consent is also

about not making assumptions about people's choices and

respecting everyone's boundaries. This also includes avoiding

making assumptions about people's sexual orientation and

making assumptions about people's sexuality because of their

sexual orientation.

Sexual misconduct:

At SUSU, a Sexual Misconduct course has been made available

on canvas to educate and train students.

Sexual Misconduct

What is Sexual Misconduct?

Sexual misconduct is the wide range term that encompasses

any inappropriate sexual contact, act or activity that you have

not consented or agreed to by choice. This includes sexual

assault, domestic violence, sexual exploitation, stalking and


Swansea University offers a wide range of resources to seek

support if you have experienced any form of sexual misconduct.

Deciding whether to report any sexual misconduct is personal

and can be a hard decision. The right decision is to do

whatever feels best for YOU, not anyone else.

It’s understandable that you may have many questions and may

not want to speak to anybody just yet, hopefully we can answer

some of these for you:

‘I was a victim to sexual misconduct a while ago,

can I still report it?’

YES! Even if it happened to you a long time ago, you are still able to

get support and, if needed, report it to the Police.

‘I’m worried that I may be to blame, so I can’t

report it because…’

‘I didn’t fight back!’

Not fighting back can be a natural response, you may be too scared to

fight, and it may not even be the safest option to do. You may even

freeze by instinct. This doesn’t mean you are to blame.

‘I was wearing revealing clothing’

Your clothing has no correlation to consent, anything sexual that

happens to you without your consent is still sexual misconduct

regardless of your dressing. You are not to blame.

‘I chose to go somewhere with someone privately

with someone’ (like their house or hotel)’

Consenting to go to a private place with someone does not mean

you are consenting to any sexual activity. Even if you were

progressing sexually, changing your mind takes away consent from

the equation. You are not to blame here either.

‘I was drunk/on drugs’

Anyone who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs is legally rendered

incapable of consenting because they don’t have the capacity to do so.

Agreeing to any sexual activity during this period does not mean you

consented. These are just a few common myths around sexual

misconduct that may prevent you from seeking support or, if needed

reporting. Always remember the responsibility of any sexual misconduct

lays on the person who assaulted you. You are not to blame.

‘I don’t want the person who harmed me to be

arrested because of me, I just want support’

You can talk to one of our sexual violence Liason officers who will help

you explore all the options and support available to you. You are in

control of whether you report the incident or not, support is available



Police: Call 999 or 101 to access Swansea’s local station

If you are on Campus you can also contact Campus Security during

office hours - by dialling 333 from any internal telephone or by using our

SafeZone app.

Outside office hours, or from a mobile phone - by calling the University

Switchboard on (01792) 205678 or by using SafeZone.

Wellbeing Support Email: wellbeing@swansea.ac.uk

Welfare Email: welfare.campuslife@swansea.ac.uk

Sexual assault referral centres (SARCs) offer medical, practical and

emotional support with specially trained doctors, nurses and

support workers to care for you.

Sexual assault referral centres (SARCs) based in the South Wales

Police area:

New Pathways – Willow House

Address: 11 Church Street, Merthyr Tydfil, CF47 0BS Telephone:

01685 350099 Fax: 01685 384640 Email: sarc@newpathways.co.uk

Safe Island/Ynys Saff

Address: Newport Road, Cardiff, CF24 0SJ Telephone: 02920


New Pathways – Beech Tree Centre

Address: Emily Phipps House, Hendrefoilan Student Village,

Swansea, SA2 7NB Telephone: 01792 206885 Email:


Swansea University Students’ Union are here to support you:

Advice and Support Centre

Phone: 01792 295 821

Email: advice@swansea-union.co.uk

Sexual Violence Liaison Officers

Our Sexual Violence Prevention and Support Team are here to

support students who have experienced sexual violence, whether it

is recent or historic. Our Sexual Violence Liaison Officers (SVLO's) are

specially trained to deal with these situations and will treat each

case with sensitivity and respect. We have male and female


An SVLO can listen and discuss the reporting and support options

available to you through external services and within the university.

Your appointed SVLO can also liaise with these external services

and university staff where required and will provide ongoing 'wrap

around' care and support.

Liza Leibowitz Welfare Officer:

Email: liza.leibowitz@swansea-union.co.uk

Georgia-Rose Gleeson Societies and Services Officer:

Email: Georgia-rose.gleeson@swansea-union.co.uk

Contraception And Sexual Health Service - Singleton Hospital

Sketty Lane


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