• Consent means giving consent for sex or sexual acts of one’s own free will.
  • If someone does something sexual to you without your consent it is sexual abuse.
  • Even if you are in a relationship, you still have to give consent.

Any person who has sexual intercourse or other sexual relations with a person without their consent shall be guilty of rape and shall be imprisoned for a minimum of 1 year and a maximum of 16 years.

The General Penal Code of Iceland, Art. 194.

What does consent mean?

  • If you give consent, it means that you want to have sex at that point in time with that person.
  • Consent does not necessarily mean saying “yes” or “no.” Consent can also be given using other words or body language. Silence, uncertainty or saying “maybe” is not consent.
  • Consent needs to be given willingly. If someone forces you to have sex or into sexual acts you have not given consent.

You cannot give consent of your own free will if:

  • You are asleep.
  • You are unconscious due to alcohol, drugs or a physical attack.
  • You are conscious but under strong influence of alcohol, drugs or medication to the point where you cannot say what you want.
  • You have a mental disability or psychological issue that prevents you from understanding what you are being asked to do.
  • The other person has lied about their identity or used deception.
  • The other person uses violence, confinement, or threats so you are afraid to say no.
  • The other person offers payment either in money or a favor.

Giving consent

You must give consent every single time. Just because you give consent once, it does not mean that you have given consent for other instances.

There always needs to be consent. You can always change your mind and withdraw your consent. You also need to give consent even when you are in a relationship.

To show interest in someone is not the same as giving consent. To go on a date with someone, flirt or pay them attention is not consent.

Get consent

Consent for kisses, sex, and sexual acts is incredibly important and necessary so that everyone feels good. It is therefore never okay to pester someone or coerce them into sex, whether we are in a relationship or not. In order to be sure that there is consent it is important to:

  • Speak openly about things and decide together what sort of activities you both want to participate in.
  • Ask for permission rather than assuming that you can do something.
  • Keep asking what feels good and what the other person wants to do, even if you have slept together before. People do not always want to do the same thing.
  • If the other person does not want to be touched or spoken to in a particular way, is unsure, silent, or downcast, then consent is not being given and that must be respected.

When consent is not enough

In some situations, it is not okay for someone to have sex with you even though you give consent. That happens when the other person has power over you and you have to trust them. Examples of that sort of relationship are:

  • Someone and a child. It is illegal for an adult person to have sex with a child under 15 years of age.
  • A healthcare worker and a patient.
  • A caregiver and a person with a disability.

Consent is like a cup of tea

Think of getting consent for sex like offering someone a cup of tea. Would you ever force another person to drink a cup of tea?


Bjarkarhlíð is a center for people who have experienced abuse. There you get all the support and counseling you need in one place. All assistance is on your terms.


Stígamót helps people of all genders who have been sexually abused.

The Sick Love Chat

The Sick love chat is an anonymous chat for young people who seek advice about their relationships, communication or violence.

Sexual abuse and harassment

Overstepping a persons sexual boundaries is assault.

Manneskja heldur fyrir augun. Hún snýr að okkur og mikið liðað hár sveiflast til hægri í vindinum.