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Office of Equal Opportunity and Office of Title IX

WHAT IS CONSENT?

Consent Defined:


Individuals who choose to engage in sexual activity of any type with another individual must first obtain clear consent. Consent must be clear, knowing, and voluntary. Consent is active, not passive. Consent can be given by words or actions as long as those words or actions create mutually understandable, clear permission regarding willingness to engage in sexual activity (and the conditions thereof).

Further:

  • In order to give consent, one must be of legal age (CRS Section 18-3-402).
  • Each participant in a sexual encounter is expected to seek and obtain consent to each act of sexual activity. Consent to any one form of sexual activity does not automatically imply consent to any other form of sexual activity.
  • Consent consists of an outward demonstration indicating that an individual has freely chosen to engage in sexual activity. Relying on non-verbal communication can lead to misunderstandings. Silence, in and of itself, cannot be interpreted as consent. Consent may not be inferred from silence, passivity, lack of resistance, or lack of an active response alone. A person who does not physically resist or verbally refuse sexual activity is not necessarily giving consent.
  • When consent is requested verbally, absence of any explicit verbal response constitutes lack of consent.
  • If at any time during the sexual activity, any confusion or ambiguity arises as to the willingness of the other individual to proceed, both parties should stop and clarify, verbally, the other's willingness to continue before further engaging in such activity.
  • Either party may withdraw consent at any time. Withdrawal of consent should be outwardly demonstrated by words or actions that clearly indicate a desire to end sexual activity. Once a participant has expressed withdrawal of consent, the other participant must cease sexual activity.
  • Individuals with a previous or current intimate relationship do not automatically consent either initially or to continued sexual activity. Even in the context of a relationship, the parties must have mutually understandable communication that clearly indicates a willingness to engage in sexual activity.
  • Consent is not effective if it results from the use or threat of physical force, intimidation, or coercion, or any other factor that would eliminate an individual's ability to exercise his/her/their own free will to choose whether or not to have sexual contact.
  • A person who is incapacitated cannot give consent.

 For a full review of consent in the University's Procedures, click here and select V. Prohibited Conduct. 

Need some ideas on how to ask for consent? Check out this video produced by students from NYU-Abu Dhabi!

 

Is it Consent?


 

Is it consent?