The ACT Legislative Assembly are considering amending the laws so that it is clear that consent must be freely and voluntarily given. A Canberra Times article on 26 September 2018 talks about some of the issues involved in these changes.
The law as it stands does not define what consent is. Instead, it gives some examples of things that negate consent (eg being unconscious or threats of violence). The change would define that consent must be free and voluntary agreement. This means that not physically resisting assault cannot be considered consent.
Understanding consent doesn’t need to be complex. The video below can be used to help children understand their rights and how consent works:
Consenting to sexual activity should be considered similar to consenting to any other physical activity with another person. For example, going for a bike ride together should be fun, and it’s normal to ask someone before jumping on bikes.
You can read the WCHM Submission to the Inquiry into the Crimes (Consent) Amendment Bill 2018.
In writing our submission, we also talked with ACTCOSS and Youth Coalition of the ACT, whose submissions are on the Inquiry webpage.