Valuing yourself to have Boundaries
Boundaries are so important to your wellness.
Boundaries are limits we set for ourselves in our relationships. Healthy boundaries allow us to say “no” to others and be ourselves. Boundaries keep us safe.
There are different types of boundaries.
A Physical Boundary is an invisible and personal boundary and set of rules around your body. This can change depending on who you are around. These protect your body and space. This relates to the right not be touched and have privacy.
An Emotional (Mental) Boundary is a boundary that protects your thoughts and feelings. Emotional boundaries create a safe place to have your emotions. It is about taking time for yourself and knowing what you feel comfortable sharing with others.
Remember, it is okay to say no!
Consent is a voluntary agreement between people that they want to do something together. Make sure everyone says yes because they want to and not because they feel pressured to say yes.
- Active, not passive. Only YES means YES!
- Knowing and respecting a person’s own boundaries, as well as the boundaries of others
- Ongoing conversation, not a one-time deal.
Consent Laws in Canada
Legal age of consent to sexual activity with anyone older than you is 16 in Canada.
Cannot consent to sexual activity.
The law allows for consent to sexual activity with someone less than 2 years older than them.
The law allows for consent to sexual activity with someone less than 5 years older unless the person is in a position of power, authority, or influence over the other (then they cannot give consent).
The law allows for consent to sexual activity with an adult regardless of age, unless the adult is in a position of power, authority, or influence over the youth (then consent cannot be given).
Consent cannot be given (and it does not count if given)
- On someone’s behalf (given by someone else)
- If the other person is in a position of power, trust, or authority (coach, teacher, counsellor, boss, family member)
- If someone is threatened, manipulated or forced
- If someone expresses in words or actions NO (a lack of agreement)
- Actions can include turning away, putting hands/arms up to block the person, stepping back, shaking head no, etc.
- If someone is incapable of giving consent (unconscious, sleeping, under the influence of drugs or alcohol)
- If a person is unconscious, asleep, drunk, high or otherwise intoxicated, they cannot give consent. The person must be alert, of stable mind, conscious, and sober to give consent to sexual activity.