“They are all innocent until proven guilty. But not me. I am a liar until I am proven honest.”

-Anon.

Disclaimer: 

 This post involves trigger words that you may not like but it doesn’t make the issue any less real so you can skip through this post and pretend it doesn’t exist or you can be part of the solution by helping to spread the message that No Means No! Your choice <3 🙂

It might be the month of flowers, candied hearts and chocolate, but there are still harsh realities that need to be faced. To this day with all the different campaigns about sexual harassment and sexual assault, media coverage and people telling their stories for some reason the issue of consent is still a misunderstood topic!!

One word, four letters, that EVERY woman and some men live in fear of happening to them at least once in their life. RAPE.

When you hear that word, do you picture a heinous violent act that makes your skin crawl? Well what if I told you that sometimes rape doesn’t have to be that, it could happen between two people in a relationship, either dating or married. Yup sad but true. So, for anyone reading this and not fully understanding what we’re trying to say let’s break it down:

  1. No doesn’t mean yes, later or convince me.
  2. Wearing tight/revealing clothes is not an invitation
  3. We are not playing “hard to get”
  4. If we said yes once that’s not a greenlight for all future sexual contact!!

Consent is further  explained in these comic strips by Alli Kerkham

Consent.

That’s the topic we will be talking about today. What constitutes consent? A YES? A little struggle but then you agree? A look?  silence? What is consent? well the dictionary defines it as: Permission for something to happen or agreement to do something.

And what is sexual consent? Sexual consent is when a person freely (very important point!) agrees to have any sort of sexual encounter with their partner. That ranges from fondling, undressing, kissing, any type of touch, foreplay, oral sex all the way to full on P. V. or anal sex.

3 Things needed for Consensual Sex.

  1. Both parties must have the ability to say yes!

What does this mean? Simple, both parties must be of sound mind to say yes (Perpetuating the notion of “drunk sex” is what makes this tricky) if you can’t even walk upright then how are you expected to give consent. AGE is also something to consider. There’s a legal age of consent for a reason people!!!!

  1. It needs to be given freely.

You might think “Well duh captain obvious…”  But you’d be surprised at how this has been a problem. Any type of pressure put on a person to get them to say YES, doesn’t count as consensual sex. If there is any feeling of repercussion, either psychological, physical or financial or retaliation of any form then then that doesn’t count as consensual sex.

  1. Consent can /should never be assumed.

“She isn’t resisting so…” “she didn’t actually say no so… ” “She is going along with it so ….” the lack of “NO” does not equate consent. An important thing to note is the first excuse “She isn’t resisting so she must want it…” did you know that there has been a lot of research done on the flight fight and freeze reaction that affects people when there is a risk of danger. And specifically Freezing; this is a way that the brain protects itself and therefore the body may temporarily shut down. This can lead the person to dissociate or feel unable to fend off the attacker.

At the end of the day, communication is the most important thing when your feeling unsure of the situation. failing to communicate can lead to rapes occurring without the “rapist” even understanding what’s going on. And in addition to that education is even more important, the fact that we still live in a world where people(young boys especially) don’t understand the concept of no means no, is not only disheartening but scary too.

I know this is quite a heavy subject but shying away from open communication does more harm than good. As always your input is very much appreciated. So let’s talk about it all! <3 Till next time xx

Selam Ahmed

Author: Selam Ahmed

Selam Ahmed is many things: fun, loving, fierce supporter of women, bookworm and an eternal Philomath. She always takes things as they come and is ever excited to see what life has to offer next. She is a foodie that loves to cook, in the best of times and the worst of times, from a very young age cooking has always been a way for her to stay sane. As an upcoming blogger (can you guess what type of blog it will be? hint: FOOD!)and as one of the contributors to the Safe Space blog, she is thrilled to welcome you all to a community that is based on uplifting women. We’ve got your back. Always.