Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
Sexual Assault Information

Campus Life

CONSENT IS...

Posted on May 4, 2011

If you are unwilling to accept “NO”, then “YES” has no meaning.

CONSENT IS …..

  • a mutual, voluntary, wanted, enthusiastic, informed, honest verbal agreement.
  • respecting boundaries through open and free communication with your partner about sex.
  • based on CHOICE and is ACTIVE.
  • being able to communicate the type of sexual relationship you want.
  • knowing your personal beliefs and values and respecting your partner’s.
  • knowing that you BOTH really want and desire each other.
  • a process that must be asked for, talked about, and agreed upon every step of the way.

CONSENT IS NOT...

  • coerced, implied or assumed – even in the context of a relationship.
  • someone having sex with you when you are high or drunk.
  • silence or not responding.
  • someone telling you that they will spread rumors about you if you do not have sex.
  • giggling, changing the subject or squirming away.
  • someone forcing you to touch or be touched.
  • saying “YES” because you feel pressured or afraid of how your partner will react to “NO”.
  • someone continuing to pressure you for sex, despite your resistance or uncertainty, until you finally give in.
  • the absence of “NO” (Not saying "NO" does not mean "YES")
  • “I’m not sure if I’m ready”, “I don’t know if I want to”, “I think I’ve had too much to drink”…these statements, and others, mean “NO”

Consent CANNOT legally be given if:

  • The person you are with is incapacitated as a result of alcohol and/or other drug consumption
  • The person you are with is under the age of 16
  • The person you are with is unconscious, unaware or otherwise physically helpless

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