Information about consent needs to be fully accessible

Ellen Goodey smiling, with her hands clasped on her knee.

As part of Sexual Health Week 2021 we hear from Ellen Goodey, Project Support Assistant at Mencap, who explains what consent means to her and why it’s essential that information about consent is accessible for everyone.

I am engaged to get married to my fiancé, as he is now.

He was my boyfriend for 3 years and then he asked me to marry him. When I said yes, that was me giving him permission and consent to my hand in marriage. Consent is important in a relationship. I think it gives people the chance to speak out and to have a voice, because everyone has the right to a happy and safe relationship.

Consent is having the right to be comfortable in a relationship where you both want the same things, and having the right to agree or disagree.

Me and my fiancé have a lot in common, like we both support football. We are in the same drama group together and we share a love and passion for drama. Our drama group is called the Blue Sky Actors and I am the main lead actor. It really helps when you have things in common with each other because it’s easier to come to an agreement with each other. I’m lucky that being in a healthy relationship means I can offer advice to other people with and without disabilities to have a voice in their relationships too.

I think it’s important for everyone to have access to information about consent, and support if they need it. Easy read documents with easy pictures to use as symbols can be useful to help people to understand – especially if other people with disabilities can’t read small print like me. I can’t read print that is too small.

Me and my fiancé are happy and I believe it should be like that for everyone.

I believe everyone should have the right to give consent about every aspect of their relationship, whether it’s a romantic relationship, family member or friend.

It’s so important to all parts of our lives at any age and that’s why we need easy information and easy pictures to use to help us understand and communicate what we are trying to say.

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