Consent. We hear this word all the time, but what exactly does it mean? To sum it up, consent is when both participants of a sexual relation are giving permission for the situation to occur. This definition proves to be a little vague and surprisingly hard to understand for some people, so to make it more clear, follow this checklist to ensure the consent you’re giving or receiving is, in fact, consent.
Both participants must verbally say “Yes” as a way of giving permission for the situation to take place. Consent shouldn't be assumed, but rather clearly communicated.
Consent should be given confidently. “Maybe,” “I guess so,” or “Fine” aren't equivalent to saying “Yes.” If it's not an enthusiastic "yes!" then take it as a "no."
If, at any time, one person doesn't feel comfortable in the situation and wants to stop, consent can be revoked and the sexual act must be stopped.
Consent under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol is not actual consent.
It needs to happen Every. Single. Time.
Pretty straight forward, right? Exactly!
What is sexual assault?
Sexual assault is any sexual activity in which consent is not present. Committing an act of sexual assault is a crime and can lead to time behind bars. Being involved in sexual assault is detrimental to one’s future, but luckily using consent is easy.
Now that you know the basics of consent and its importance, it's your job to practice consent and share your knowledge with the world! Tell your friends, tell your partners, tell everyone! Together, we can destroy the ‘rape culture’ and create a ‘consent culture’ instead.
Visit Dal’s Get Consent site to learn more about the resources available on campus and in Nova Scotia. The Human Rights & Equity Services provides a support group for student survivors of adult sexual assault.
If you experience sexualized violence on campus, call Dal Security in Halifax at 902-494-4109, in Truro at 902-893-4190, or use the DalSAFE app. If you experience sexualized violence off campus, call 911.