About the campaign

UCL is saying Full Stop to all forms of bullying, harassment and sexual misconduct – we all can play a role in ensuring our campus is safe and respectful for all.
 
As part of this, it's important to have a solid understanding of sexual consent. Simply put, sex without consent is not sex, it’s sexual violence.

UCL and Students’ Union UCL are working together on the I ❤️Consent campaign to promote sexual consent across campus. We’re committed to putting an end to sexual violence at UCL, and we’re encouraging all our students to help by learning about consent in a brief online training course, and then ensuring they always get consent from their sexual partners.
 
The training is relevant for everyone, regardless of sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, race, religion or belief. Its aim is to empower us to shape healthy, positive and respectful relationships with others in the UCL community and beyond.

Defining Consent
 
Consent is understood as agreeing by choice, and having the freedom and capacity to make that choice. A person is free to make a choice if nothing bad would happen to them if they said no. A person has the capacity to make a choice when they can physically and mentally understand the consequences of that choice. 


UCL understands consent to be ‘affirmative and enthusiastic’ consent. This is important because consent is often understood as the absence of a ‘no’. This understanding of consent ensures that we move away from the absence of ‘no’, and from interpreting silence as agreement. Consent must be affirmatively and enthusiastically provided for it to be considered present. 


Being able to provide affirmative and enthusiastic agreement to engage in sexual activity means: 
  • That there is no pressure or coercion, and no threats (implicit or explicit) to obtain that agreement;
  • That the person consenting is not asleep, unconscious, or so affected by drugs and alcohol that it impairs their ability to freely consent. 
It is important to understand that consent can be withdrawn at any time, even after it is given during a sexual encounter. Either party may change their mind, and that is completely acceptable. It is important to respect a person’s decision and ability to withdraw consent if they change their mind. 


Again, the bottom line is that sex without consent is sexual violence. 


We know that it may be awkward, or could ‘ruin the mood’, to ask if someone feels comfortable, but we should always take that risk to ensure we don’t perpetrate sexual violence, even if that’s unknowingly. Therefore, we all need to be mindful about the other person and their feelings to ensure that both parties freely agree and are enjoying themselves. 


Sex should be enjoyable, so if you’re not sure – ask!

Support services

Please note that the sexual consent online training covers some difficult subjects. If you’ve been affected by sexual violence or any of the issues raised in the training, be aware that there’s support available for you.
 
The easiest way to access support is to attend a Student Support and Wellbeing drop-in session. These take place every day on Floor 1 of the Student Centre. No appointment is needed, and you’ll be able to speak to one of our trained advisers who can talk you through the support options available.
 
 
UCL works closely with Rape Crisis and SurvivorsUK to offer specialist support to any students affected by sexual violence, which is often available on campus.
 
Students can also report any incidents of sexual violence, harassment or bullying through the online tool on this website. Reporting helps us build up a more accurate picture of the situation at UCL, and take appropriate action.
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