Defining Consent

Consent is mutual, freely given, and informed. You need consent for every form of sexual activity or you may be responsible for sexual assault.

Mutual. It is active, not passive, and can be withdrawn at any time. Past consent to sexual activities does not imply ongoing future consent and consent for one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity. Silence does not necessarily constitute consent. It is the responsibility of the initiator to obtain consent.

Freely Given. Consent is only possible when there is equal power in the relationship. If coercion, intimidation, or threats of physical force are used, there is no consent. There is no consent when there is force, expressed or implied, or use of duress or deception upon the victim. Whether an individual has taken advantage of a position of influence over an alleged victim may be a factor in determining consent.

Informed. If a person is impaired due to alcohol, drugs, being asleep, unconscious, mentally impaired, or below the age of legal consent, there can be no consent. Such person cannot understand the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual situation; the initiator should know, or reasonably should know, if an individual is incapacitated.

Things to Remember

Consent is permission, approval or agreement through words or body language.

Consent is a process and must be given at every stage of intimacy.

Consent is F.R.I.E.S (Freely Given; Reversible; Informed; Enthusiastic; Specific)

Consent is NOT present if a person says NO in any way and at any point.

Consent is NOT able to be given if a person is under the influence of drugs, alcohol or medication, asleep or unconscious.