Consent is when both people say and show ‘yes’ to an activity and sexual activity without consent is illegal.
What is consent?
Consent is when both people say and show ‘yes’ to an activity. Sex or sexual acts without consent is sexual violation. It’s never okay.
At any time you can change your mind about an activity and expect your partner to respect your decision. Also, if you say ‘yes’ once to a partner, it doesn’t mean it has to be ‘yes’ every time.
People cannot consent to sexual activities if they are unconscious, drunk or high on drugs. The age of consent for sex in Aotearoa New Zealand is 16.
What is sexual violation/rape?
Sexual violation is when a person rapes or has unlawful sexual connection with another person.
Rape is sex without consent. Unlawful sexual connection is any sexual contact which someone does not or cannot consent to.
Sexual violation is a crime. If you are charged and found guilty of sexual violation, you can go to prison for up to 20 years. Read the legal definition in the Crimes Act 1961.
Even if you know the person it is still sexual violation.
Who can help?
If you have been sexually violated, talk to someone you are comfortable with. You may want to talk to a friend or someone in your family/whānau. You could also talk to a school counsellor or someone at one of our clinics.
Sometimes it is easier to talk to someone you don’t know. There are organisations throughout the country that help people who have been sexually abused, assaulted or raped.
You can contact one of these organisations:
Family Planning has clinics located throughout New Zealand. Use the clinic finder to find your nearest clinic.