Consent is an affirmative decision to engage in mutually acceptable sexual activity given by clear actions or words. It is an informed decision made freely, willingly and actively by all parties. Consent is informed, knowing and voluntary. Consent is active, not passive. Silence or an absence of resistance cannot be interpreted as consent. Consent to engage in sexual activity with one person does not imply consent to engage in sexual activity with another; likewise, consent to engage in one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create mutually understandable permission regarding the conditions of sexual activity. Consent to sexual activity may be withdrawn at any time. If consent is withdrawn, all sexual activity must immediately cease.
Someone is not giving consent if he or she is:
- saying "no" or "stop"
- moving away or pushing the other(s) away
- completely still or unengaged
- intoxicated, drugged or high
- asleep or unconscious
- physically or psychologically pressured or forced
- mentally or physically impaired
- beaten, threatened or confined
- under the age of 16
Sexual assault occurs when physical sexual activity is engaged without the consent of the other person or when the other person is unable to consent to the activity. The activity or conduct may include physical force, violence, threat or intimidation, ignoring the objections of the other person, causing the other person’s incapacitation through the use of drugs or alcohol or taking advantage of the other person’s incapacitation.
Dating Violence/Domestic Violence
Dating violence or domestic violence is violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the other person. It is based on the other person’s statement and with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. It includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse.