What is Consent?

Sexual consent is where a person has the ability and freedom to agree to sexual activity.

#Consentiseverything Together we can stop rape by ensuring everyone knows when they have sexual consent – and when they do not.

Sex without consent is rape

Rape happens to people of all genders and sexualities. About 92 percent of victims are female and eight percent male. Most rapes occur between people who know each other in some way.

Make sure you get consent.

Make sure the other person is participating freely and readily.

You can confirm if you have consent both verbally and by checking the other person’s body language.

Someone on drugs or too drunk to make decisions doesn’t have the mental capacity to give consent.

If someone is on drugs or seems too drunk to consent, or you’re not sure, stop. Wait until they are sober and ask them again.

Somebody who is asleep or unconscious cannot give consent.

Other things can also affect a person’s capacity to consent. Examples include a serious mental health problem, learning disability or a head injury. Having capacity means the person can make and communicate a decision, understanding the consequences and knowing they have a choice.

If they cannot do this they cannot give consent.

Your partner has the right to withdraw their consent at any time. Once consent is withdrawn you must stop engaging in sexual activity immediately.

If you are struggling with consent, please watch the ‘Consent it’s simple as tea’ video transcript.

Consent – how to get it

The person seeking or initiating sex is responsible for getting consent.

Ask yourself if the other person is capable of giving consent.

If they are on drugs or too drunk, asleep or unconscious they cannot choose.

Some people living with a mental health problem, a learning disability or a head injury may not have the capacity to consent. 

You can confirm if you have consent by checking the other person’s body language and by asking them.

Check with them each time you start a new type of sexual activity.

Check with them on each occasion you start any sexual conduct.

Look at their body language and facial expression to see if they are eager and comfortable.

Ask them if they are okay.

If they seem unhappy, or you are not sure they are consenting, stop.

Silence, or the absence of a “no”, does not guarantee somebody is consenting.

A clear affirmative freely given “yes” indicates consent.

Sex without consent is rape

Rape is a crime. Rape occurs when a person penetrates another person’s mouth, anus or vagina with their penis without their consent. It happens to men and women. If someone initially agrees to have sex, but later withdraws their consent and the other person continues anyway, that person will have committed rape. Being drunk or on drugs is not a defence.

If you are accused of rape your future will change forever. You will be arrested and questioned by the police. Your belongings  will be seized and your DNA taken, analysed and added to a database. If charged with rape you will appear at Crown Court for trial. If you are 

convicted of rape you could be sent to prison. The maximum sentence is life imprisonment. You would be ordered to sign the sexual offenders register.

After being convicted it may be harder to get a job or a place at university. You may not be able to travel to some countries. You may also damage or even lose relationships with friends and family.


is… Completely voluntary; About supporting employers to support mental wellbeing at work and UK-wide & run by Workways, part of Devon Partnership NHS Trust

is not… An accreditation, award or quality standard; About adding to your workload or judging what you do and About mindfulness – but that is a helpful approach for some

MINDFUL EMPLOYER® is a NHS initiative run by Workways, a service of Devon Partnership NHS Trust. Workways supports people with a mental health condition to find or remain in employment. MINDFUL EMPLOYER was developed by employers in Exeter and launched in 2004. Initially intended as a purely local initiative, it has since developed throughout the UK and has been launched abroad. MINDFUL EMPLOYER has been recommended as good practice by the UK government and other national organisations.


  • Shows employees and others that you are a good employer
  • Expresses corporate social responsibility
  • Reduces staff and training costs
  • Helps towards complying with legislation (e.g. Equality Act &  HSE)
  • Reduces sickness absence
  • Enhances customer service
  • Improves productivity
  • Helps retain staff who have experienced discrimination in the past
  • Makes for a healthier workplace

Developed, led and supported by employers, MINDFUL EMPLOYER® provides businesses and organisations with easier access to information and support for staffwho experience stress, anxiety, depression or other mental health conditions.

Whether you run your own business or organisation, are a manager or an employee, finding the right information can be very time-consuming. This website aims to carries most things in one place. You’ll find a wealth of information about the law, good practice, managing mental health, training and publications for managers and staff.

Charter for Employers

Since MINDFUL EMPLOYER was launched in 2004, a total of 1,973 employers have at some point been a signatory to the Charter for Employers who are Positive About Mental Health.

The Charter is not an accreditation, award or a set of quality standards – it is completely voluntary.

Employers can be involved in MINDFUL EMPLOYER without signing the Charter but many use it as a tangible display of their commitment to improving the working lives of their staff.  

There is no specific starting point, no baseline assessment – simply the desire to make a difference for your employees.

Mental Health at work Gateway

The annual impact of mental health issues costs UK employers between £33 and £42 billion.

A recent Mind survey showed that while employers want to make changes to improve the lives of their employees they often find it hard to know where to look for information or guidance.

Shaped by the Heads Together campaign, the ‘Mental Health At Work’ Gateway is funded by The Royal Foundation and produced by Mind working with 11 key partners including business and industry. This new online platform , training and information people need to make their life better at work for themselves, their colleagues and their staff. provides resources

So whether you are just starting to look at how you can support your staff, or looking to make a bigger commitment to the wellbeing at your place of work there is something for you. Visit www.mentalhealthatwork.org.uk to find resources and guidance, to make changes big and small.

Helping your employees communicate

Next Generation Text (NGT) is a text relay service provided by BT to help people with little or no hearing or speech to communicate with hearing people 

over the phone. It could help your customers reach your business and your employees reach their potential. You don’t need any special kit – just download the app to your smartphone, tablet or computer. Find out more at https://ngts.org.uk/

November dates for your diaries

Disability Confident anniversary month
Movember: Men’s Health awareness month
7th: National Stress Awareness Day (Mind)
5th-11th: Learning disability work week (Mencap)
13th: Purple Tuesday – Accessible shopping day


Safeguarding Officers
Laura Osborne, Simon Mills and Kevin Clarkson
Safeguarding Lead
Beth Kearney
24hr helpline 07921 030263
Email keepsafe@etsgroup.co.uk