Consent

Definition: According to the Government of Canada's Department of Justice, consent is legally defined as the voluntary agreement of a person to engage in sexual activity. Taking this definition one step further, Consent is defined as the active process of willingly and freely agreeing to engage in sexual activity without manipulation or threats.

Legal Age
The legal age of sexual consent in Canada is 16 years of age. If you are under 16, there is a close age exception which is:
  • If you are 14 or 15, your partner must be less than 5 years older than you.
  • If you are 12 or 13, your partner must be less than 2 years older than you.

People under 12 have no ability to consent to sex.

Consent Essentials
  • Sex needs to be fully consensual: Everyone needs to accept and respect each other's answers.
  • Consent can always be withdrawn- consent is a one-time-only agreement.  Just because someone agreed to engaging in sexually activity on Saturday does not mean they have already given their consent to sex on Tuesday.
  • Nothing makes consent automatic - being in a committed relationship doesn't give anyone the right to not seek consent.
  • In some situations, full, informed and free consent cannot be given. People who are under the influence (drugs, alcohol), asleep, unable to understand what they are saying yes to or under severe pressure are not able to freely and willingly consent to participating in a sexual activity.
  • Consent can always be withdrawn- consent is a one-time-only agreement.  Just because someone agreed to engaging in sexually activity on Saturday does not mean they have already given their consent to sex on Tuesday.

Video - Consent is like a cup of tea

Sexual Assault

In 1994, the Ottawa Hospital established the Sexual Assault and Partner Abuse Care Program (SAPACP).  A team of specialized health care professionals are available onsite, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Private, confidential trauma sensitive care is available to anyone 16 years and older who has experienced sexual or intimate partner violence. SAPACP can also be contacted at 613-798-5555, extension 13770.

The Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) also has a sexual assault program for children and adolescents. If you, or someone you know, has been sexually assaulted contact the Emergency Department at CHEO at 613-737-2328, to speak with a member of the Sexual Assault Team. 

 
Condom Negotiation
The following scenarios can help when discussing condom use.

Scenario #1

They says, "I'm on the pill, don't worry."

You say, "I trust you but the pill only protects against pregnancy, not STBBIs."

Scenario #2

They says, "We already did it once without a condom."

You say, "Yeah and I spent the entire month worried about being pregnant."

Scenario #3

They says, "Why are you putting on a condom? I'm not trying to get pregnant?"

You say, "I trust you. I use condoms because I care about you, and me."

Scenario #4

They says, "I'm a bit concerned about STBBIs".

You say, "Okay, so let's tested together".

Scenario #5

They says, "I always pull out in time, don't worry."

You say, "I know, but when we use a condom you don't have to pull out. It can feel even better plus pulling out does not protect you from STBBIs".

Scenario #6

They says, "I can't feel anything when I wear a condom."

You say, "Too bad, you either wear it or we don't have sex.".

Scenario #7

He says, "I know we just recently met but I'm into barebacking, you in?"

He says, "I'd consider it but only if we wear condoms".

Scenario #8

They say, "I'm clean, don't worry"

You say, "How do you know, when was the last time you were tested? Did you know that half of all people with STBBI's dont have symptoms."

Scenario #9

She says, "I don't want to have oral sex without an oral dam."

She says, "Okay, I know it will protect both of us from getting an STBBI.

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