Healthy Relationship Facts
Healthy sexual relationships
Healthy sexual relationships are founded on consent and respect, where both partners are happy and safe.
The following are very important to a healthy sexual relationship:
- Communication – Both partners need to talk about their needs, what feels good and also what doesn’t feel good.
- Consent – You need to talk and be clear that you and your partner are both okay with any sexual activity.
- Respect – Treat your partner with kindness, consideration, and empathy. Respect also means not pressuring them into doing something they are uncomfortable with.
What is consent?
Sexual consent is when you and your partner both agree to a sexual activity. Consent is about ongoing communication. You and your partner should be checking in with each other during any sexual activity to make sure you are comfortable with what you are doing.
- A clear yes. Consent means that you and your partner give each other a clear and explicit ‘yes’ to any sexual activity.
- It’s okay to change your mind. At any point it’s okay for you, or your partner, to change their mind.
- Check in with each other. During sexual activity communicate with each other and look to see that each of you are still okay. It’s okay to speak up and say you don’t want to do something anymore.
- It’s okay to slow down or stop. Just because you started a sexual activity, doesn’t mean either you or your partner can’t change their mind. Speak up if you want to have a break or if you want to stop.
- Alcohol and drugs impact consent. People under the influence of alcohol or drugs don’t always know what’s going on and they cannot consent.
Videos about consent
Consent and the law videos in your language
Healthy relationship resources
- Relationships and consent – Answers some commonly asked questions about health relationships and consent.
- Sex it’s your decision – Looks at the importance of making your own decisions about your body and if and when you want to have sex.
- Your body, your choice – sexual assault – This factsheet contains important information for people who have experienced sexual assault.
- Sex and the law – This easy to understand factsheet explains under what circumstances it is legally ok to have sex.
- Sexual assault factsheet – This factsheet outlines how in Australia, it is against the law to sexually assault anyone.
- Sexual assault crisis helpline – This provides details about the Sexual Assault Crisis Line Victoria (SACL) which is a state-wide, after-hours, confidential, telephone crisis counselling service for people who have experienced both past and recent sexual assault.
Organisations supporting healthy relationships
- Relationships Australia – They offer a broad of relationship support services across Australia including counselling, information and resources.
- No to Violence – Works with men who use family violence, and the sector that supports them to change their abusive and violent behaviour.
- Men’s Referral Service – Advice for men about family violence operated by No to Violence.
- Safe + Equal – Family violence support
- Prevention of violence against women – Training and workshops for professionals and workplaces.
- 1800 Respect – National domestic violence and sexual violence counselling service.
- Headspace – Headspace is the National Youth Mental Health Foundation. They provide a good guide on what elements make for a healthy relationship.
- Genwest – Genwest help people who are experiencing family violence. They have a range of resources on sexual and reproductive health, family violence support, community health and wellbeing, and gender equity.