You might be coming to this page because you are wanting to develop more serious relationships or maybe you have found yourself in a relationship you are unsure about. You are in a period of life where so much is changing and you are feeling the pressure of having to think about your future plans. Your friendships and relationships are evolving and maybe becoming more intimate, it's okay to safely explore those changes. The relationships you are developing in high school can last well beyond graduation and the patterns you develop will shape your relationships moving forward. Make sure you are building relationships that you feel safe and secure in.
Boundaries are guidelines or limits that a person creates for themselves that are reasonable, safe and permissible ways for other people to behave around them and how they will respond when someone steps outside those limits.
Why are they important?
Practice self-care and respect: When we are setting a boundary we are putting ourselves first.
Communicate needs and wants: Establishing a limit helps to convey our desires.
Make time and space for positive interactions: Responding when someone crosses your boundary opens conversation.
Set limits in a healthy way: Develop boundaries based off ourselves and not what someone else wants.
Healthy boundaries allow you to:
Develop a high self-esteem and self-respect
Protect physical and emotional space
Build an equal partnership where responsibility and power are shared
Empower yourself and develop bodily autonomy
Consent is about always choosing to respect personal and emotional boundaries. By practicing consent in everyday situations, you show you value the choices of others.
Now that you are older you also have to be mindful of the presence of alcohol and/or drugs. The presence of a substance can alter someone's judgement and consent is no longer present.
Respect the answer "no".
Do not pressure someone to give you the answer you want to hear.
Ask for permission before touching someone.
Respect when someone sets a boundary and don't get angry if it isn't what you want.
"You don't seem too into this. Do you want to stop or take a break?"
"Do you care if I call you when I finish my homework?"
"I love this picture of us. Is it OK if I post it to Instagram?"
"Would it be okay if I kissed you?"
Any sexual act or attempt to obtain a sexual act by violence or coercion, acts directed against a person's sexuality, regardless of the relationship to the victim.
Rape or sexual assault
Child sexual assault/incest
Dating sexual assault
Unwanted sexual contact/touching
Sexual harassment: to tease, bother, or annoy someone because of their gender or sexuality
Showing one's genitals or naked body to others without consent
Masturbating in public
Watching someone in a private act without their knowledge or permission
Recording or taking photos of someone in a private act without their knowledge or permission.
Send videos or photos of someone in a private act without their knowledge or permission.
Remember, if someone is making you do something you are uncomfortable with, that is sexual violence. Maybe you are dating someone and they tell you that they love you and that means you should have sex with them, love does not equal sex. You should only do things when you both agree, feel safe and comfortable.