Sexual consent

Sexual harassment, assault and violence (also known as sexual misconduct) is never OK. We all have a responsibility to make sure we understand and practice consent and understand what constitutes sexual misconduct to keep everyone in our community safe and supported.

Consent. Do you get it?

Consent is when someone agrees or says ‘yes’ to physical or sexual activity with another person. When you are consenting, it needs to be given enthusiastically and freely.

When you’re asking for consent

  • You must have an agreement before you perform any actions towards another person, especially those of a physical or sexual nature
  • If someone says ‘no’ (verbally or non-verbally) they are not agreeing to it
  • If someone gives no response, it is not consent
  • The person giving consent must fully understand what they are consenting to
  • The person giving consent must be capable of making an informed decision (e.g. they shouldn’t be under the influence of drugs or alcohol and they must be conscious that they are providing consent)
  • Remember consent can be withdrawn at any time and you must stop
  • You must get consent every time

 When you’re giving consent

  • If you say ‘no’ that means you do not agree to the sexual activity
  • If your non-verbal communication, such as body language shows that you do not give consent it should be respected just the same as saying ‘no’. You can withdraw your consent at any point. It’s ok to change your mind

If you choose to ignore consent from someone, you can cause them personal distress, loss of confidence, low morale and illness. It is also against the law. We do not tolerate this behaviour, and neither should you. Make sure you understand consent and use it.

Module: Consent for students

To ensure every student understands consent, we have created a free module called 'Consent for students'. This isn't mandatory but we strongly encourage you to complete it to make sure you're confident on consent. 

Watch videos

Consent explained by a cup of tea

Understanding consent, harassment and other concerning behaviour with Salford students


What is sexual misconduct? 

There are a few terms used when talking about sexual misconduct, which can get confusing at times. We’ve listed the words you’ll hear the most, so you can feel confident in recognising this behaviour.

  • Sexual assault is when someone touches another person in a sexual manner or makes another person take part in sexual activity without that person's consent. This can include rape, kissing, sexual touching (including through clothes) and/or pressing up against another for sexual pleasure.
  • Sexual harassment is when one person makes sexual advances, requests for sexual favours, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature without consent. This can include sexual comments and jokes, displaying pictures of a sexual nature, sending messages of a sexual nature and unwanted physical behaviour such as touching.
  • Sexual violence refers to any kind of unwanted sexual act or activity, including rape, sexual assault, sexual abuse, and many others.
  • Sexual misconduct is a broad term that refers to sexual harassment, assault and violence. Sexual misconduct occurs when there is no consent given.

Support at the University

If you have experienced or witnessed sexual harassment, assault or violence, please remember it is not your fault and help is available.

Report and Support

At the University we have Report and Support, which is our confidential reporting system where you can let us know if you have experienced or witnessed any concerning behaviour, including sexual misconduct, so we can do something about it.

Report and Support key facts:

  • You can report anonymously (but it does mean we won’t be able to contact you with further support)
  • You’ll have a case adviser who will support you throughout your case
  • Although “report” is in the title, you are not making an official complaint or grievance with the University. This report also doesn’t log anything with police or emergency services
  • If you do want to make an official complaint, your case adviser can support you fully with this

Report and support at the University

Remember: even if you’ve only witnessed something, you should be an active bystander and let us know so we can do something about it.

Wellbeing and counselling

You can access self-help resources on our website or seek support from our Wellbeing and Counselling teams when you need it. As well as being a great source of tips for general wellbeing and issues you may be facing, Wellbeing Advisers are here if you wish to seek advice about something that is causing you considerable stress, distress or concern.

You can also access free and confidential counselling through the Student CareFirst phoneline - available 24 hours a day, seven days a week: +44 (0)800 970 1080.


Safety on campus: the SafeZone app

If you study on campus, make sure you download Safezone (it’s free). This will ensure you can access to emergency or urgent assistance should you need it, first aid and the ability to report emergency incidents and concerns in our University community.