What is and is not consent?

Consenting to sexual intimacy requires that all participants consent to the activity. Consent between two or more people is defined as an affirmative agreement–through clear actions or words–to engage in sexual activity. The person giving the consent must act freely, voluntarily, and with an understanding of their actions when giving the consent. Lack of protest or resistance does not constitute consent, nor does silence mean consent has been given. Relying solely on non-verbal communication can lead to misunderstanding. Persons who want to engage in the sexual activity are responsible for obtaining consent–it should never be assumed. A prior relationship or prior sexual activity is not sufficient to demonstrate consent.

 

Consent must be present throughout the sexual activity–at any time, a participant can communicate that they no longer consent to continuing the activity. If there is confusion as to whether anyone has consented or continues to consent to sexual activity, it is essential that the participants stop the activity until the confusion can be clearly resolved.

 

Consent…

  • is about communication.
  • is an informed, voluntary, wanted, sober, mutual & verbal agreement to engage in sexual activity.
  • must be asked for every step of the way. Consent for one activity does not mean consent for another.
  • is never implied assumed.
  • is not coerced.
  • can be withdrawn at any time for any reason.
  • is NOT dressing sexy, flirting, accepting a ride, a drink, etc.
  • is NOT saying “yes” while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • is NOT saying “yes” because of pressure or fear.

 

Not Saying “No” Doesn’t Mean “Yes.”

According to the Policy on Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity & Diversity, the definition of CONSENT:  “Consent” must be informed, voluntary, and mutual, and can be withdrawn at any time. There is no consent when there is force, expressed or implied, or when coercion, intimidation, threats, or duress is used. Whether a person has taken advantage of a position of influence over another person may be a factor in determining consent. Silence or absence of resistance does not imply consent. Past consent to sexual activity with another person does not imply ongoing future consent with that person or consent to that same sexual activity with another person.

 

If a person is mentally or physically incapacitated or impaired so that such person cannot understand the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual situation, there is no consent; this includes impairment or incapacitation due to alcohol or drug consumption that meets this standard, or being asleep or unconscious.

Last Modified: 10/20/20