Consent is a voluntary, ongoing, active and conscious agreement to engage in the sexual activity in question. Consent or a “yes” that is obtained through pressure, coercion, force, threats or by inducing intoxication, impairment, or incapacity is not voluntary consent. Silence or ambiguity do not constitute consent.
Additionally, there is no consent when:
- it is given by someone else.
- the person is unconscious, sleeping, highly intoxicated or high, or otherwise lacks the capacity to consent.
- it was obtained through the abuse of a position of power, trust or authority.
- the person does not indicate “yes”, says “no” or implies “no” through words or behaviours.
- the person changes their mind and withdraws their consent.
Consent cannot be implied (for example, by a current or past relationship, by consent to another activity, or by failure to say “no” or resist). In addition, consent cannot be given in advance of sexual activity that is expected to occur at a later time.
It is the responsibility of the person wanting to engage in sexual activity to obtain clear consent from the other and to recognize that consent can be withdrawn at any time.
Understanding Sexual Violence
Sexual violence is a complex and serious problem that can affect individuals of all gender identities, gender expressions, and sexual orientations, as well as those from all ages, abilities, racial, cultural, and economic backgrounds.
Sexual violence is any sexual act, act of a sexual nature, or act targeting sexuality, physical or psychological, that is committed without consent. It includes, but is not limited to the following: