Consent is a loud and resounding YES. It is not a look or any type of signal through body language.
Consent is a process, it's more than just one YES from last Saturday, it needs to be asked throughout any sexual encounter.
Consent is mutual. Remember the saying it takes two to tango? It applies here. Both parties should be fully aware.
You were too ashamed to say No, You were afraid to say No.
Then sexual assault or rape occurred. Sex without consent is rape.
Sexual assault can be defined as any kind of unwanted sexual advance or unwanted sexual interaction.
There's not a target on your back, but you could be at-risk.
College students ages 17-25 are at higher risk of being sexual assaulted.
Women, 18-24, who are enrolled in college are 3 times more likely than women in general to suffer from sexual violence. RAINN: Victims
1 in 5 women have been sexually assaulted while in college. Rape and Sexual Assault: A Renewed Call to Action (The White House Council)
While women are at a higher-risk, that does not make men exempt.
Alcohol the Aggressor
Alcohol can make things a little blurry.
95% of all reported interpersonal assault on the University of Nevada, Reno campus are alcohol-related.
In college, many victims fall into the category of incapacitated assault. Incapacitated assault is when someone is sexually abused while drunk, under the influence of drugs, passed out, or otherwise incapacitated. (Drug-facilitated, Incapacitated, and Forcible Rape: A National Study)
Proper consent does not exist while under the influence.
Think about it this way: If you were too drunk to drive your car home and you just left it in a parking lot somewhere, would you care enough to ask for consent or give your consent? Probably not.
If you've lost the ability to control a vehicle, you probably shouldn't be trying to control another person.
It's important to know your own safety on campus. It's also important to know how your peers respond to sexual assault in order to measure the climate of safety and conduct while on campus.
University of Nevada, Reno conducted a Campus Climate Survey and found:
Roughly 80% of sexual assault victims knew the perpetrator.
78% of women and 66% of men who responded to the survey shared their experience with someone, but only 9% reported the incident.
The Grey Areas Do Not Exist
Consent is not a given. Revisit the concept of consent with each sexual encounter, even if in an established relationship.
Consent is not a one-time question. Just because someone consented to sex at one time, does not mean that this is the precedent in the future.
Consent is not a grey area. There are no exceptions to a healthy, consensual relationship.
Let's Talk About Sex....
Why Sex-Positive You Ask?
It's simple. We want to empower individuals to embrace their identities and take control of their bodies, whether they are choosing to be sexually active or not. We do not shame or judge anyone who chooses to be his or her own Consentress and say, "YES!"
We have to change the way we think about sex and ourselves. We can solve the very root of the problem by redefining our perceptions of sex, society and the way in which we embrace others.
Consent is ultimately about respect. If we can respect our own decisions and the decisions of others, then we can begin to halt the aggressive culture that heavily influences the violent acts of sexual assault and rape.
For more information on reporting sexual assault and rape, please visit our resources page.