Consent can seem like an intimidating topic, but it’s one of the most important things in any type of relationship! At its core, all consent means is that if you’re going to be in someone else’s space, you have to have their permission to be there. It’s about respecting personal and emotional boundaries. We can practice consent even in everyday interactions like “Do you want a hug?”, or “Do you mind if I post this photo of us on social media?”. Showing the people in our lives that their boundaries are important in all things can go a really long way in helping them to feel safe around us.
Of course, the definitions get stricter and even more important the more intimate the act is. Any kind of sexual activity without consent isn’t sex, it’s assault. Consent must be asked for every step of the way, enthusiastically given, and is always allowed to be revoked. Additionally, under North Carolina law, someone who is under the influence of alcohol and drugs, a minor, has certain disabilities, or is incapacitated in any way cannot give consent under any circumstances.
Practice consent in your daily life. Take your own boundaries seriously, as well as others’. Teach the children in your lives the same, that they have a right to their own body safety and emotional boundaries. Don’t hesitate to chat to loved ones about consent, boundaries, or to do your own research online and read further. If you feel that something has happened to you where you did not consent to sexual activity, please give Albemarle Hopeline a call on our 24-Hour Crisis Line at (252)338-3011. We are always here for you.