Consent is an informed, freely and actively given agreement that is mutually understood. Any type of unwanted sexual touching - like touching someone's penis, vagina, breasts, or even making out with them - can be sexual assault if they didn't give a clear sign that they wanted the contact.
Consent can be given verbally, but it may also be shown through body language or other behaviors.
Consent has to be given freely; it can't be coerced or forced. Threatening, belittling, or badgering your partner into participating in sexual activity that s/he may not be comfortable with is not consent.
There is no consent if either person involved is mentally and/or physically incapacitated or impaired, including conditions due to alcohol or other drug consumption, being asleep or unconscious. This means that if your partner or a person you want to have sex with is really drunk or has taken drugs, s/he probably cannot give consent, and having sex with him/her may result in you being charged with sexual assault or misconduct.
If you aren't sure if your partner is able to give consent, or whether you received clear signals that s/he is consenting freely, don't do it. It's not worth putting you or your partner at risk. If the situation seems unclear, stop and make sure you both want the same thing. It's okay to wait until another time when you are both sober, drug free, and clear about what you want to do.
Breaking Down Consent
Never assume that you can touch someone or have sex.
- Agreeing to walk home or go back to a room/apartment, doesn't mean that the person wants to hook up/have sex.
- Communicate and listen when initiating sexual activity.
- Silence does NOT equal consent.
Ask at each step.
- Consent must be established with each new step and new activity.
- If you have to keep asking and asking, you shouldn't be doing it. Step back and assess what is happening.
Intimacy/hooking up does not HAVE to equal intercourse.
- Just because someone consents to kissing and taking off clothes doesn't mean that he/she is consenting to having sex.
- Don't have sex if you're not sure!
- Wait until another time when you are both sober, drug free and certain.
Last modified August 22 2013 02:14 PM