Consent exists only when both parties in any sexual
activity are 17 years of age or older and agree freely to
participate in that activity. Consent is mutual, equal,
respectful, and freely given agreement to participate.
Consent does not exist when there is the presence of threat
By law, it is impossible for the following to give consent: individuals
who are under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substances;
who are physically helpless (including sleeping); who are under the age
of 17; who are mentally incapacitated; and/or who are mentally disabled.
Signs of lack of consent vary. Victims of unwanted sexual activity frequently
attempt to leave, that is to flee. Sometimes victims of such activity
tend to physically resist, that is to fight. Sometimes, victims become
so frightened they tend to become paralyzed, that is to freeze. Each
of these responses is, by definition, an indication of lack of consent.
Submission never indicates consent.
Unequivocal verbal agreement is the most definitive expression of consent.
Tentative vocal and or non-verbal “signals” do not indicate consent; they
leave room for misunderstanding and miscommunication.
Consent may be withdrawn at any time during any sexual activity. Agreement
to engage in some forms of sexual activity does not automatically indicate
agreement to engage in other forms of sexual activity. Any sex act that
occurs after the withdrawal of consent is sexual assault.