Understanding sexual harm & consent Te whai mōhiotanga mō ngā pānga pāwhera me te whakaaetanga

Sexual harm is physical, verbal, visual or digital interactions and behaviour of a sexual nature that is not asked for or wanted. Consent must be freely and actively given, without pressure.

Massey is committed to providing an environment where all students and staff feel safe and respected at all times. We take allegations of sexual harm seriously.

Sexual harm may be a breach of Massey's Code of Conduct. We have an official procedure for dealing with reports of sexual harm.

What is sexual harm?

Sexual harm is sexual activity that happens without the active consent of everyone involved.

Sexual harm can be physical, verbal, visual, or digital — such as unwanted emails or text messages.

Sexual harm includes sexual harassment, such as: 

  • name calling
  • bullying
  • unwanted sexual advances
  • requests for sexual favours
  • any other unwanted sexual behaviour.

Sexual harm also includes sexual assault, such as:

  • rape 
  • unwanted sexual touching
  • acts of indecency, such as exposure.

Sexual harm at Massey will not be tolerated.

What is consent? 

Non-consensual sexual activity is illegal in New Zealand. Everyone involved in sexual activity needs to consent to it.

Consent must be actively and freely given. Not resisting is not the same as giving consent. Giving consent is an enthusiastic “yes!”

To give their consent, everyone involved must be fully conscious and not affected by alcohol or other substances. People can also give their consent and then change their mind. That is their right.

Sexual activity with anyone under 16 years old is illegal in New Zealand. Under New Zealand law anyone under 16 is not considered old enough to give consent, even if the young person agrees.

Other resources

New Zealand Police resources on sexual harm, consent, and reporting

Rape Prevention Education website

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If you have experienced sexual harm, you can access free confidential support services at Massey and externally.