Consent for sexual contact cannot legally be given if an individual is under the age of 18, is incapacitated due to alcohol or other drugs, is unconscious or asleep, or has limited mental capacity. Consent is a clear yes, not the absence of no.
Consent is positive cooperation involving an act of free will, absent of coercion, intimidation, force or the threat of force. A person cannot give consent if he or she is unable to understand what is going on.
There must always be active consent on both sides. Consent to one thing does not imply consent to another. If limits are made clear and consent is not given, pressuring someone into changing his or her mind is not consent.
- Consent is based on choice.
- Consent is active, not passive. Silence and passivity do not equal consent.
- Consent is possible only when there is equal power.
- Giving in because of fear is not consent.
- Giving in or going along with someone to gain approval or to avoid being hurt is not consent.
- Consent means two people (or more) deciding together to do the same thing, at the same time, in the same way, with each other.