What it is and what it isn't...
Consent is an affirmative decision given by clear actions or words. It is important not to make assumptions. If confusion or ambiguity on the issue of consent arises anytime during the sexual interaction, it is essential that each participant stops and verbally clarifies willingness to continue.
It is important to remember that a person who is intoxicated is not legally able to give consent to sexual contact or sexual acts.
- Consent is words or actions showing a clear, knowing and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity.
- Consent from sexual partners must be obtained. If confusion or ambiguity on the issue of consent arises anytime during sexual activity, consent must be clarified.
- Consent may not be inferred from:
- Silence, passivity or lack of active resistance.
- A current or previous dating or sexual relationship.
- Consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity.
- Consent can be withdrawn by clear communication at any time.
- Saying “Yes” with both your body and your words
- Given while sober
- Clearly communicated
- A sign you truly respect and care for your partner
- A two-way street
- Given continuously (it is a process!)
- Having had sex together before
- Being incapacitated from alcohol or drugs
- Having kissed or done any other sexual act
- Being in love (if he/she says they love me, this must be okay)
- Coercion, intimidation or threatening
- Lack of resistance