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Sex & Relationships

What is Okay

When it comes to social and sexual activity you’re often told what you’re not supposed to do so let’s start with what’s OK.

It is OKAY to

  • show an interest in someone in a friendly way
  • invite someone out
  • flirt (if it’s mutual)
  • hug (if it’s mutual)
  • be in a physically safe sex relationship with another consenting adult partner


What is Not Okay

It is NOT OKAY to

  • continue to approach or persuade if someone declines
  • act as if uncertainty or quietness means “yes”
  • act as if “no” means “yes”
  • use any kind of force, threat or emotional blackmail in social or sexual approaches (being drunk is no excuse)
  • comment on someone’s personal appearance or sexual orientation in a derogatory way
  • be in a sexual relationship with someone who has less power than you, even if apparently consenting



Protecting yourself…

  • Know that it’s your right to decide whether, when and with whom you’ll have sex.
  • Trust your instincts if you feel uneasy, uncomfortable or confused. Give yourself permission to leave even if you fear you may hurt the other person’s feelings. It is more important to protect yourself.
  • Be especially aware in social situations where a lot of alcohol and/or drugs are being used.
  • It’s your right to set limits on what happens sexually. It’s your right to say no – even if you’ve been attracted to someone or previously had sex with them.
  • Expect acceptance and respect from all of your friends, including anyone you may choose to date or have sexual relationships with.

Protecting others…

  • Don’t be intrusive – everyone has a right to their own space.
  • Always clarify the understanding and expectations of others. Other students, especially those from different countries
    and cultures, may have attitudes and understandings of acceptable behaviour which are different from yours. Respect these differences.
  • Listen respectfully and respond. If a person says “no” they mean no. Stop whatever you’re doing.
  • If you are interested in developing a sexual relationship with someone, talk first. Just because a person has been friendly or flirtatious, doesn’t mean you can have sex with
    him or her.
  • If you don’t get a clear response, don’t go any further. Uncertainty does not mean “yes”. No response does not mean “yes”.
  • Don’t use alcohol or drugs as a way to get sex. Neither is an excuse.
  • Don’t use any kind or pressure, coercion or manipulation to get someone to have sex with you. For example:
    “Come on, just this once, please?”
    “It’s over between us if we don’t.”
    “If you loved me you would.”
    “It’ll be good, you’ll see.”
    “We’ve done it before.”
  • Don’t use force, or threats of force, to get someone to have sex with you.
  • If you decide to enter into a sexual relationship, do practise safe sex. This means always use a condom.
  • Do take responsibility for contraception. Talk about it with your partner.


Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment and discrimination are not tolerated at Victoria. You can complain if you suffer these and you can be complained about if you offend others.

As a member of the Victoria University community, you are entitled to work, study and socialise in an environment of safety and respect.

Sexual harassment of any kind undermines safety and respect, and is a breach of the University’s Statute on Student Conduct.

Sexual harassment is any form of unwanted sexual behaviour – physical or verbal. It affects both men and women and noone has to put up with it.

What can you do if you feel you’ve been
offended sexually?

  • Tell someone you trust. Seek help and support.
  • It is not your fault – don’t blame yourself for what has happened to you. The offender is responsible for their actions.
  • It’s normal to feel a wide range of emotions, sometimes over a very long time, particularly if some form of sexual assault has occurred.

What can you do to help someone who has been offended sexually?

  • Be supportive, and listen to their feelings. Let them know who they can go to or contact to get the support they need.
  • Remember if they have been sexually assaulted in some way, they have been through a trauma.

Sexual harassment support at Victoria

If you feel you have been sexually harassed you have a number of options. To find out about these, get help and talk about your experience, contact Yvonne Oldfield, the Student Interest and Disputes Resolution Advisor (04) 463 5023.

Other Contacts

Counselling Service
Student Health Service
VUWSA - Student Welfare

Related Victoria Sites

Student Counselling

Student Health

VUWSA - Student Welfare


Sexual Harassment
(385KB PDF)

Student Conduct Statute
(200KB PDF)

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Updated: 28 May, 2015     © 2004 Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand