What is consent?

As defined under the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009.

  • To give consent you must agree by choice and have the freedom and capacity to make that choice.
  • If the victim is unaware of what is occurring, through drink, drugs, sleep, age or mental disability they may be incapable of giving valid consent.
  • If the victim only consented due to being threatened by violence, consent would not be valid.
  • If the victim was unlawfully detained or lied to regarding the nature of sexual conduct, consent would not be valid.
  • If the victim was deceived as to the identity of the person with whom the incident occurred then they are unable to give consent.
  • Consent can be withdrawn any time during the encounter. If a person withdraws consent and the encounter continue then it would constitute sexual assault.
  • Being in a relationship or having had a consenting sexual encounter before does not automatically provide consent for other sexual encounters.
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