What is consent?
Consent is an agreement that is willfully given without any external pressure or factors. Communication is key, boundaries should be established before, during, and after sexual activity. In order for someone to consent to sexual activity participants must continuously communicate before, during, and after sexual activity- this is the only way to establish clear boundaries between participants and allows for a relaxing experience.
Consent does not always have to be verbal, but discussing boundaries, expectations, and consent between participants at each sexual encounter is the best way to avoid confusion and respect boundaries.
Consent must be given
Sexual coercion is when someone pressures, uses drugs or alcohol, or forces sexual contact with a person against his or her will.
Sexual assault refers to sexual contact or behavior that happens without explicit consent of the victim.
How to Support a Victim of Sexual Assault
When a friend or family member is sexually assaulted you may struggle to come up with ways to support them. The resources below provide guidance on how to navigate these situations and provide support without triggering and while respecting the victim’s privacy.
Resources for Victims and Family Members of Sexual Abuse and Assault
NSVRC – The National Sexual Violence Resource Center
PCAR Guide – A Guide for Friends and Family of Sexual Violence Survivors