Consent is defined as permission for something to happen or an agreement to do something. If you are ever in a position where you are unsure if you have consent, you don’t. One of the best ways to see if you have consent is to ask. Verbal consent is the best form of consent to receive because it is clear, and there is no confusion between partners. If you have not received consent before engaging in any sexual activity it is considered sexual assault.
Sexual assault involves a variety of actions such as, unwanted sexual touching, sexual harassment (i.e. cat calling), sexual contact with anyone under the age of 18 (whether consensual or not), attempted rape and rape. Sexual assault is illegal and if you are accused of sexual assault, you may face criminal charges, which can include serving time in jail as well as university sanctions.
Rules of consent:
• 100% mandatory; consent needs to be given every time
• Must be specific; just because somebody say yes to kissing doesn’t mean they agree to anything else
• It’s reversible; they can change their mind at anytime and if so, then you no longer have consent
• Must be given freely; coercing somebody in to something isn’t consent
• Read the body language; if their body language is saying anything other than yes, stop and ask them if they are okay with continuing
• It must be verbal; silence doesn’t equal consent