Playlist teacher guide - Consent laws & rights

Playlist information

Playlist summary

This playlist explores the laws around consent in relation to sex and the taking and sharing of intimate images.

Playlist purpose

The content of this playlist supports students to:

  • Understand the laws that relate to giving and gaining consent in Australia
  • Interpret a range of situations where consent was not given.

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Learning objectives

  • Know the laws related to consent in relation to physically intimate encounters and online behaviours such as sharing of images and where to seek accurate information, advice and support.
  • Understand that consent is a complex area and it is each individual’s responsibility within the situation to ensure they are being clear about whether they are giving and receiving consent from the others involved.
  • Propose practical and realistic ways to behave ethically in relationships to ensure all encounters are consensual.
  • Identify cues in real-life situations and practical and realistic ways to communicate when consent is and isn't being given.

Key messages

  • There are strict laws around who can give consent and how consent is given and it is an individual’s responsibility to ensure they have full consent.
  • If someone is too intoxicated or affected by other substances to drive, then they are unable to give or gain consent.
  • If a person says ‘yes’ but they were too frightened to say no, then it is not consent.
  • When dealing with situations or issues about consent it’s always important to double check that you are reading it right.
  • Having the skills to understand, give and receive consent can help people to have safe and respectful relationships.

Year level(s) appropriate for

Year 10, Year 11, Year 12

Australian curriculum links

Investigate how empathy and ethical decision making contribute to respectful relationships.

Propose, practise and evaluate responses in situations where external influences may impact on their ability to make healthy and safe choices.

Plan, rehearse and evaluate options (including CPR and first aid) for managing situations where their own or others’ health, safety and wellbeing may be at short or long-term risk.

Media items

Human rights are universal

Type: Page.

Duration: 2 minutes.

Source: The Good Society.

Summary: So we all have rights - how do these rights apply to sex and relationships? Discover how the Field Model is an observable portrayal of our universal right to free agreement and personal autonomy of our bodies; and how these rights are necessary to a good quality of life.

Survey questions:

  1. Question number 1. Do you think all people are treated as equals in Australia? Answers
    1. a.Yes
    2. b.No
    3. c.I don’t know
    Discussion points:

    The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that all people are born equal in dignity and rights but this is not necessarily the case. Explore this concept further by discussing the following questions:

    • Are there instances in our society when some people are treated differently to others because of perceptions they are not equal?
    • What characteristics or aspects of their lives drive the perception they are not equal?
    • Who is making the decision they are not equal?
    • What are the consequences for the individuals who are being treated differently because they are perceived as not equal?
    • What are the consequences for the people who believe they are better than other people in their community?

Consent, rights and responsibilities

Type: Page.

Duration: 3 minutes.

Source: The Good Society.

Summary: What is an enthusiastic yes? Here we learn all about consent and sexual rights, and how to check in with partners using Stop Ask Listen. Determine your partner's level of comfort at any point and be better informed of how to respect their rights of consent, ensuring lawful, healthy behaviours regarding any and all sexual activities.

Survey questions:

  1. Question number 1. Do you think consent is as simple as getting a yes or a no? Answers
    1. a.Yes
    2. b.No
    3. c.It depends on the situation
    Discussion points:

    When we are giving or gaining consent we need to be absolutely clear with the language and signals that we are giving and receiving. To discuss this further ask the following questions:

    • What sorts of responses could be mistaken for a yes when they are actually a “No” or an “I don’t know”?
    • What questions could you ask to be absolutely sure you have consent?
    • What responses can you give to be absolutely clear that you are an enthusiastic yes?
    • What responses can you give to be absolutely clear that you are not giving consent?

Consent: Have the Conversation

Type: Video.

Duration: 2 minutes.

Source: Carleton University. ()

Summary: A short video explaining consent, sex, and sexual assault. The video implores the viewer to seek consent and have the conversation to make certain that your sexual partner is consenting to sex.

Survey questions:

  1. Question number 1. Do you think you would have the confidence to have the conversation when you needed to? Answers
    1. a.Yes
    2. b.No
    3. c.It would depend on who I was with
    4. d.It would depend on the situation
    Discussion points:

    The consent conversation is a necessary conversation we need to have but can sometimes be a tricky one if it is the first time you are having a conversation about getting intimate. If you are in a long term relationship, things are a little easier because you will probably have a trust and rapport that has developed, making the conversation a little easier. Being in a longer term relationship means you will also have a pretty good understanding of your partner’s inner world so you will be better able to respect them and their decision. It’s when the relationship is in its very early stages that the consent conversation can be even trickier. This is when using the Field Model becomes even more important and following the rules of each zone will help you be sure that you can give and gain consent when you need to.

2 Minutes Will Change the Way You Think…

Type: Video.

Duration: 2 minutes.

Source: CampusClarity. ()

Summary: A smartphone analogy shows how easy it is to understand consent, and how quickly consent can be determined. In two minutes, the video effectively illustrates examples of where consent was freely given, others where boundaries were stated, and further examples revealing coercion, incapacitation and intimidation.

Survey questions:

  1. Question number 1. Do you think sexual consent is as simple as asking to use someone else’s phone? Answers
    1. a.Yes
    2. b.No
    3. c.It depends on the situation
    Discussion points:

    Although the rules around consent seem to be pretty black and white (Yes = consent, No = no consent), reality isn’t so clear cut. To explore this in more detail, discuss the following questions:

    • What other questions could you ask to borrow someone’s phone?
    • Where could there be confusion about whether someone is giving you permission to use their phone or not?
    • How can these questions be re-framed when asking about consent for sex?

Consent and the law

Type: Page.

Duration: 4 minutes.

Source: The Good Society.

Summary: A thorough overview of the laws, rights and responsibilities regarding consent and sex. This page covers free agreement, intoxication, the age of consent, sexual harassment, stalking, and more.

Survey questions:

  1. Question number 1. If both people are drunk, is it possible to have consensual sex? Answers
    1. a.Yes
    2. b.No
    3. c.I don’t know
    Discussion points:

    The law states that if a person is intoxicated (either through drugs or alcohol) then they are not capable of freely giving consent. If you and your partner have both been drinking and you’re not 100% sure that they are giving consent freely then don’t go there. Wait until another time when alcohol or drugs aren’t clouding the decision and make sure it’s right for both of you.

Sexting laws and image-based abuse

Type: Page.

Duration: 2 minutes.

Source: The Good Society.

Summary: This page focusses on some of the consent rights and sexual harassment laws relating to being online.

Survey questions:

  1. Question number 1. Do you think the laws around consent should apply to nudes and intimate images? Answers
    1. a.Yes
    2. b.No
    3. c.Maybe
    Discussion points:

    Unless the person depicted in the image or video has freely agreed to it being shared, there is no consent to share the image with anyone in any way.

    Sharing intimate images without consent is image-based abuse and is against the law. To discuss this further ask the following question:

    • Is there any situation when it would be OK to share a photo or video of someone without their consent? If so, when?

Sam’s story

Type: Video.

Duration: 4 minutes.

Source: eSafety Office. ()

Summary: Heads up: This resource discusses image-based abuse, and online sexual harassment. The video shows how malicious behaviour can get out of hand, damaging lives and endangering both victims and perpetrators. The video helps present options for victims like the reporting of images to the eSafety website, to Google, police involvement, blocking, collecting evidence of contact from strangers, and handling feelings of self-blame over what happened.

Survey questions:

  1. Question number 1. Was Sam in any way responsible for what happened to her? Answers
    1. a.Yes
    2. b.No
    3. c.Maybe
    Discussion points:

    What happened to Sam was all due to Alex being disrespectful and, in the end abusive, towards her. Sam admits that she regretted getting intimate with Alex. However, Alex had taken photos of them together without her knowledge – and therefore without her consent. This act alone is against the law. To make matters worse he then shared these images without Sam’s consent in order to get back at her for not wanting a relationship with him. As well as breaking the law when it comes to image-based abuse, Alex has broken all of the rules of the Field Model here. He is the only person responsible for what happened in this situation.

    During this lesson provide the details for accessing the eSafety Commissioners’ image based abuse portal (https://www.esafety.gov.au/image-based-abuse) where students can access information, support, resources and options for reporting abuse.

Youth Law Australia

Type: Web.

Duration: 1 minute.

Source: Australian Government. ()

Summary: The Youth Law Australia website provides information on consent laws in your state or territory.

Further information

Type: Page.

Duration: 1 minute.

Source: The Good Society.

Summary: Wanting to find out more? Here are some tips on where to get more info about consent laws, right and responsibilities, lodge formal complaints, and report image-based abuse.

Activities and extras

The conversations generated through engaging with this playlist could be built upon and reinforced using scenarios that explore different ways of gaining and giving consent and discussing the effectiveness of these strategies in ensuring the characters have made clear what they want.

To explore options for people who are the victims of image-based abuse refer to the Office of the eSafety Commissioner’s Image-based abuse portal at https://www.esafety.gov.au/image-based-abuse