What is Consent?

Consent is mutual, freely given, and informed. You need consent for every form of sexual activity or you may be responsible for sexual assault.

Mutual. It is active, not passive, and can be withdrawn at any time. Past consent to sexual activities does not imply ongoing future consent and consent for one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity. Silence does not necessarily constitute consent. It is the responsibility of the initiator to obtain consent.

Freely Given. Consent is only possible when there is equal power in the relationship. If coercion, intimidation, or threats of physical force are used, there is no consent. There is no consent when there is force, expressed or implied, or use of duress or deception upon the victim. Whether an individual has taken advantage of a position of influence over an alleged victim may be a factor in determining consent.

Informed. If a person is impaired due to alcohol, drugs, being asleep, unconscious, mentally impaired, or below the age of legal consent, there can be no consent. Such person cannot understand the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual situation; the initiator should know, or reasonably should know, if an individual is incapacitated.

  • Consent is permission, approval or agreement through words or body language.
  • Consent is a process and must be given at every stage of intimacy.
  • Consent is F.R.I.E.S. (Freely Given; Reversible; Informed; Enthusiastic; Specific)
  • Consent is NOT present if a person says NO in any way and at any point.
  • Consent is NOT able to be given if a person is under the influence of drugs, alcohol or medication, asleep, or unconscious.

Definition of Consent from LSCPA's Sexual Misconduct Policy

Consent is an informed and freely and affirmatively communicated willingness to participate in a particular sexual activity. Consent can be expressed either by words or by clear and unambiguous actions, as long as those words or actions create mutually understandable permission regarding the conditions of each instance of sexual activity. It is the responsibility of the person who wants to engage in the sexual activity to ensure that they have the consent of the other to engage in each instance of sexual activity. (The definition of consent for the crime of sexual assault in Texas can be found at Texas Penal Code Section 22.011.) LSCPA will consider the following factors in determining whether consent was provided:

  1. consent is a voluntary agreement or assent to engage in sexual activity;
  2. someone who is incapacitated cannot consent;
  3. consent can be withdrawn at any time;
  4. past consent does not imply future consent;
  5. silence or an absence of resistance does not imply consent;
  6. consent to engage in sexual activity with one person does not imply consent to engage in sexual activity with another;
  7. coercion, force, or threat invalidates consent; and
  8. being intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any other substance is never an excuse for engaging in Sexual Misconduct.