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Consent

Updated: Feb 1


What is Consent?


On a broader note, consent is permission.


In this article, we're referring to sexual consent, or an agreement to participate in a sexual act.​


What Counts as Consent?


Consent is a clear, voluntary agreement to participate in a sexual act.

We often use the term "FRIES" to remember what is and is not consent:


Freely Given

This means that consent is something you agree to do without pressure, coercion, or while being under the influence of drugs or alcohol.


Reversible

You can change your mind about whether or not you want to do something at any time. This can be for any reason or no reason at all, even if you're in a relationship with that person.


Informed

You can't give consent without knowing all of the relevant information. If someone removed a condom without telling you or intentionally withholds or lies about their STI status, there isn't consent!

Enthusiastic

Real consent means agreeing to something you want to do, not that you feel like you need to do. If you're reluctant or uncomfortable, that's not consent.


Specific

If you agree to do one thing (like kissing), that doesn't mean you've agreed to do anything else (like have sex). Consent is a continuous process that should be received each step of the way.


Consent is NOT:


  • Silence or not responding

  • Not physically resisting

  • Saying "yes" while drunk, high, sleeping, or otherwise unconscious

  • Being forced to say "yes"

  • Assumed because it was given in the past

  • Automatically given because two individuals are in a relationship


When to Ask For Consent


Whenever one person wants to move to the next level of intimacy, they must ask for and then receive consent before continuing.


It is the responsibility of the person initiating a sexual act to make sure the other person is consenting.

Consent can be withdrawn.


At any point, the other person can withdraw consent and decide they don't want to continue a sexual act. Respect this decision.


The Importance of Consent


Consent is the foundation of any relationship, sexual or not.


Clear, ongoing consent ensures that both parties feel safe, comfortable, and respected. Disregarding consent breaks trust and creates an untrustworthy environment.

Sex without consent is sexual assault.


Point, blank, period. If clear, ongoing, and sober consent was not received for a sexual act or was revoked, moving forward with the act is sexual assault.


Sexual Assault Victim Resources


The first thing to remember is it is not your fault.


Like we said, it is the responsibility of the person initiating a sexual act to ask for and receive consent before moving forward.

If you've been sexually assaulted, you can get assistance at:

Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN): 1-(800) 656-4673

If you live in Broward County:


Rape Crisis/Victim Hotline: (954) 761-7273


If you live in Miami-Dade County:


Rape Crisis/Victim Hotline: (305) 585-7273

Domestic Violence 24-Hour Crisis Hotline: 1-(800) 500-1119

Miami-Dade County Coordinated Victims Assistance Center: (305) 285-5900

Miami-Dade Advocates for Victims Hotline: (305) 285-5900


If you live in Palm Beach County:


Rape Crisis/Victim Hotline: 1-(866) 891-7273 Palm Beach County Victim Services SART Center: (561) 625-2568 Palm Beach County Victim Services (Belle Glade): (561) 996-4871 Palm Beach County Victim Services (Delray Beach): (561) 274-1500 Palm Beach County Victim Services (Palm Beach Gardens): (561) 625-2568 Palm Beach County Victim Services (West Palm Beach): (561) 355-2383


 

References


What Is Sexual Consent? | Facts About Rape & Sexual Assault. Planned Parenthood. (n.d.). https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/relationships/sexual-consent


National Sexual Assault Hotline: Confidential 24/7 Support. Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN). (n.d.). https://www.rainn.org/resources

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