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Consent

The Victim is Not at Fault

The following information explains what consent is, how and when to ask for consent, and why it's so important.

What is Consent?
  • Consent is a voluntary, sober, informed, mutual, and honest verbal agreement.
  • Consent cannot be coerced with threats, intimidation, force or pressure.
  • Consent is a process, which must be asked for every step of the way; if you want to move to the next level of sexual intimacy, just ask.
  • Consent is never implied and cannot be assumed, even if you are in a relationship.
  • Drugs and alcohol can affect a person’s ability to decide whether they want to be sexual with someone. If you’re “out of it” you are not able to make decisions or give consent.
  • Consent cannot be given if a person is underage, or physically or mentally incapacitated.
  • The absence of a “no” doesn’t mean “yes”.
Ask for Consent

When?

Before you act. It is the responsibility of the person initiating a sex act to obtain clear consent. If you are unsure if consent has been given - ask. Giving consent ahead of time does not mean a person can’t change their mind or say no later. Consent is not just getting a yes or no answer – it is understanding how your partner is feeling and any stage. If you are getting mixed signals – stop and talk about it. Keep communicating.

How?

Communicate – listen to the other person, ask questions and come to a mutual decision on how far to go. Respect yourself and your partner.

Why is Consent so Important?

Communication, respect, and honesty make sex and relationships better. Asking for and obtaining consent shows that you have respect for both yourself and your partner. Sexual violence is a crime.