What is Consent?

Last updated on Apr 8, 2022

Consent is voluntary, clear and unmistakable agreement by a person who expresses their willingness to take part in a specific sexual act. A woman should understand what she is agreeing to and what the consequences will be if she agrees to the sexual activity . Even if she doesn’t physically resist the act of penetration, this does not automatically mean that she has consented to the sexual activity.1

Under the following circumstances, a man is said to commit rape even if the woman has given her consent:

  • If her consent has been forcibly obtained by threatening to hurt her or making her fear for her life or the lives of her dear ones.
  • If the man knows that he is not a woman’s husband, and that she has given her consent only because she thinks that the man is her husband.
  • If the woman is unable to understand the nature and consequences of the act to which she gives consent, due to unsoundness of mind or intoxication or because the man has given her an unwholesome substance.
  • If the woman is under eighteen years of age.

  1. Explanation 2, Section 375, Indian Penal Code, 1860.[]

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