To give consent or to get consent from someone else seems straightforward, but the complexity of relationships and sexual encounters at university can create uncertainty, especially if mixed with alcohol or drugs.

We want to increase awareness around sexual consent to help our students understand and respect personal boundaries in order to help prevent unwanted sexual advances and sexual assault.

When considering consent, any form of sexual contact or activity should be ‘Ongoing, Mutual, Freely Given’ – for example, kissing does not mean consent for further sexual activity.

So what is consent…?

Consent is defined in the Sexual Offences NI Order 2007 when a person agrees by choice and has the freedom and capacity to make that choice; including not being impaired by alcohol or drugs.

It is an offence of sexual assault for a person intentionally to touch another person sexually without reasonable belief that they consented. Touching covers all physical contact, whether with a part of their body, with another object, or through clothing. Examples of sexual assault or rape can include;

  • Sexual contact with someone whom you reasonably should have known was impaired due to the use of alcohol or other drugs.
  • Sexual contact with someone who is “passed out” or sleeping.
  • Sexual contact with someone who is unable to say “no” and/or change his/her mind due to the presence of coercion or intimidation.
  • Sexual contact with someone who is under the legal age to consent.

Remember

  • Making sure you get and give consent really matters.
  • Sex without consent is rape.
  • Sexual assault is always the perpetrator’s fault.
  • Sexual assault is an offence which can result in imprisonment.

Consent Matters Course

Consent Matters: Boundaries, Respect and Positive Intervention is a free online, interactive online course that offers initial training helping to build understanding of consent, respect, healthy relationships, and positive intervention. On completion of the course, we hope students will learn how to recognise and ask for sexual consent, look out for others at Ulster University, and find support if it’s needed.

To access the course:

  1. Register for the course
  2. Complete the registration form. You must register using your @ulster.ac.uk email address
  3. In the ‘token’ field of the registration form, please enter: 9af5d8e5
  4. You will be sent an account activation email. Please click on the link in the activation email to complete registration and activate your account. NOTE: If you do not receive the email in your inbox, please check your SPAM/junk mail.
  5. Once you have activated your account, you can then log in using your chosen username and password combination. You will be shown the Epigeum programme in the My Courses screen
  6. Click on the programme to see a list of the three available modules, and on a specific module to launch it. Once a module has been successfully completed, you will be able to download your unique certificate of completion. A programme level certificate is released once you successfully pass all modules
  7. If you require further assistance, please see the help page where you can also contact the Epigeum customer support team.

Report and support

We know it takes courage to talk about it, but if you have experienced sexual assault or are concerned about someone else who has been sexual assaulted, we can help, report and seek support.

Report it!

  • Call the PSNI on 101 (or call 999 if in immediate danger)
  • Alternatively confidentially contact the Rowan Sexual Assault Referral Centre (24/7) on 0800 398 4424 (visit: therowan.net)

Seek support!