Consent has recently become a major topic in college campuses nationwide, but what exactly is consent and sexual assault? When people hear of sexual assault, the first thought that pops into their mind is rape. If we dig deeper, we will see that sexual assault encompasses so much more! Let’s investigate what sexual misconduct is and find out how do to give and receive affirmative consent…
When people think of sexual misconduct they tend to think along the lines of rape, harassment and assault. In reality, sexual misconduct covers a very broad spectrum. Sexual misconduct is when you perform any sexual activity without active and affirmative consent. When it comes to sexual misconduct, sexual activity may include, but is not limited to:
- Touching intimate body parts
- Penetration of any body part
- Oral sex
Like we mentioned above, these are only a few of the many activities that can be considered sexual misconduct. When it doubt it’s always best to ask your partner if they’re okay with it.
What is affirmative consent?
Now that we know what sexual misconduct is, let’s clear up some misconceptions about what is and is not affirmative consent. Affirmative consent means informed, affirmative, conscious, voluntary, and mutual agreement to engage in sexual activity. If any of these conditions are not met then it is considered sexual assault. Always be sure to ask if you are unsure whether you have been given consent. Keep in mind that if someone is unconscious, disabled, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they cannot give affirmative consent! Consent may also be revoked at any time.
Now that you know what sexual misconduct is and what affirmative consent is, go on out and make a difference. Spread the word and let your peers know that giving consent is giving your partner the respect and dignity they deserve as an equal. If you see someone becoming a victim of sexual violence or misconduct do something or say something! Don’t be a bystander!
If you want to learn more about what consent is or how you can help spread the message, join SMSU April 11- 15 2016 for Consent Week, hosted by the Women’s Resource Center! Consent week features events that aim to educate the student body about consent and sexual misconduct. Below is a list of headline events throughout the week. Come and see how you can #RespectThePack!’
Consent Week Events:
April 12 | Show Your Support – 12-2PM | SMSU Lobby
Support survivors of sexual assault by pledging to be an upstander against violence.
April 13 | Hunting Ground – 4-6PM | SU-107
Join us for a documentary about sexual assault on American College campuses followed by a panel discussion lead by Title IX. This event meets the required student training for the 2015-2016 school year.
April 14 | Netflix & Chill?
V.O.I.C.E peer educators will present on consent, communication, and why they work together.