Will you be my valentine? Sometimes it is NOT all roses and chocolates!
Sexual assault and rape happens not just among strangers. Date rapes do occur and we need to recognise that rapes do take place even within a marriage. It is essential therefore that a conversation on what constitutes consent and the importance of consent towards fostering healthy relationships based on equality and respect needs to be begin, and what better day than on valentines day – a day that is dedicated to celebrating love and relationships.
Every sexual activity should be based on consent. Having ongoing communication between partners without fear or embarrassment is key. To be clear, having obtained consent once does not indicate that no further consent is required in future sexual activities. Consent has to be obtained every time there is a sexual engagement. To engage in a sexual act without the other person’s consent or approval could lead to charges of rape and sexual assault.
Consent is (Source: Planned Parenthood)
Freely given. It’s not okay to pressure, trick, or threaten someone into saying yes. And you can’t give consent if you’re drunk, high, or passed out.
Reversible. It’s okay to say yes and then change your mind — at any time! Even if you’ve done it before.
Informed. You can only consent to something if you have all the facts. For example, if someone says they’ll use a condom and then they don’t, there isn’t full consent.
Enthusiastic. When it comes to sex, you should do stuff you WANT to do, not things people expect you to do. If someone doesn’t seem enthusiastic (meaning happy, excited, or energized), stop and check in.
Specific. Saying yes to one thing (like going to the bedroom to make out) doesn’t mean you’re saying yes to other things (like having sex).
Also there are laws about who’s able to consent. If the person you’re with is...
- Drunk or high
- Asleep or passed out
- Below the legal age of consent or much younger than you
- Living with a disability- a disability that affects their ability to understand you
...then they can’t consent, and it’s not okay for you to do anything sexual with them.
While conflict is inevitable in every relationship, it’s important to recognize when conflict is unhealthy.
Unlike a healthy relationship, which is about equality and respect, an unhealthy relationship is about power and control over another person by using threats, put-downs, isolation, coercion, stalking, physical or emotional harm.
No one deserves to be in an unhealthy relationship. If you are concerned that your relationship has become unhealthy, please get the help you deserve. Call us on +94 76 588 4881 or contact us via our websites www.fpasrilanka.org or www.happylife.lk