Importance of consent

The definition of consent is the permission for something to happen or the agreement to do something.


If someone has not said a clear ‘yes’ this means you do not have their consent.

Some people may feel uncomfortable or unsure about something, but have not said the word "no".

This applies to any activity that involves another person. Touching, kissing and hugging - remember not everyone's a "hugger"!

Remember it is your responsibility to ask for consent, not to assume you have it. Everyone has a right to say "no" if they do not feel comfortable.  

  • The law says anyone under the age of 13 can not legally give consent 
  • Any sexual activity with anyone under 13 should always end in a child protection referral. 

The law gives extra protection to young people who are over the age of consent but under 18

  • It is still illegal to distribute indecent images of someone under 16 (this is known as sexting) 
  • for a person in a position of trust to abuse their potion (for example, caregivers, teachers, coaches) and have a sexual relation or engage in sexual activity with someone under 18.

In Scotland you are held accountable for your criminal responsibility at the age of 12. 

People aged 12-16 can be taken to court for serious crimes they have committed. 


If you would like to learn more about this topic check out, NSPCC, ThinkUKnow, we can stop it

If you or someone you know has been affected by the topic of this article please know you can access support through RASAC.