Sexual Assault and Consent


The purpose of this section is to provide basic facts about what sexual assault and sexual consent are. Knowing these two things is the first step towards understanding the complex issue of sexual decision-making, communication, and healthy relationships. As this is not an exhaustive resource, we hope you use this information to continue to explore this topic.
The ability to prevent acts of sexual violence depends on an understanding that consent is always needed, has to be continuous, and has to be given by everyone. Developing strong, assertive communication skills is essential to giving and receiving consent.
What is consent?
Sexual consent occurs at the time of the sexual act, when there are actual words indicating freely given agreement to have sexual intercourse or sexual contact. Obtaining consent is an ongoing process of mutual communication as sex progresses, regardless of who initiates it.

Last Updated: 9/14/2011