What is Consent?

Consent: a knowing and voluntary agreement to engage in specific sexual activity at the time of the activity communicated through clear actions and/or words that are mutually understood.

In order to be valid, Consent must be active, present, and ongoing.

The following are clarifying points about consent:

  • Consent is required each and every time there is sexual activity;
  • At any and all times when consent is withdrawn or not agreed upon through actions or words, the sexual activity must stop immediately;
  • A current or previous dating or sexual relationship with the initiator (or anyone else) does not constitute consent;
  • Bodily movements and non-verbal responses such as moans are not consent;
  • Silence, passivity, or lack of active resistance is not consent;
  • Intentional use of alcohol/drugs does not imply consent to sexual activity;
  • Seductive dancing or sexy/revealing clothing does not imply consent to sexual activity;
  • Anyone under the age of 16 cannot give consent; and
  • Use of agreed upon forms of communication such as gestures or safe words are acceptable but must be discussed and verbally agreed upon by all parties before sexual activity occurs.

Incapacitation: Occurs when an individual is unable to give consent due to the use of drugs, alcohol, being asleep or unconscious, or due to an intellectual or other disability. Any of these actions or factors may prevent the individual from having the capacity to give consent.

Additional examples of incapacitation include being:

  • frightened,
  • physically or psychologically pressured or forced,
  • intimidated, or
  • threatened.