What is consent?


The law says consent means free agreement.

Consent is not given if a person is:

incapable of consenting due to alcohol or any other substance
lacks capacity to consent (under the Capacity and Self-Determination (Jersey) Law 2016) 

Free agreement is not given if:

Violence is used or threatened
A person is being held captive unlawfully
A person is being deceived about what they are consenting to
A person is misled about who the other person is

Consent has to be given to the specific act.

Consent cannot be given by someone else.

Consent can be taken back at any time before or during the act. If the act still takes place or continues; it does so without consent.

A child 15 years and younger cannot give consent.

Reasonable belief

If the accused can show that:
they took steps to ensure consent was freely given
they believed a person was old enough to give consent
they believed there was no exploitation
and they can show what those steps were
Then there can be a defence of “reasonable belief” for some offences 

Many people associate rape with a stranger attack in a dark alley. This is not the case. In Jersey 90% of sexual assaults happen when the victim and attacker are known to each other.

But no matter what the situation or relationship, sex without consent is rape.

If in doubt please contact the States of Jersey Police or any of our partner agencies for further advice or just to talk.