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What is Consent?

Consent is an agreement between participants to engage in sexual activity. Consent doesn't have to be verbal, but verbally agreeing to different sexual activities can help both you and your partner respect each other's boundaries.

*Consent 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

Comprehension that the act is taking place
Optional for both parties
Negotiation with partner
Sobriety - must have knowledge of the nature of the act
Engagement in the act
Talking about it/communication - silence does not equal consent

Consent means...
...every person has a right to change their mind can't make assumptions about what your partner does or does not want
Refusing to acknowledge "no"
Assuming that wearing certain clothes, flirting or kissing is an invitation for anything more
Someone being under the legal age of consent (which is 18 in Wisconsin)
Someone being incapacitated because of drugs or alcohol
Pressuring someone into sexual activity using fear or intimidation
Assuming you have permission to engage in a sexual act because you've done it in the past

Alcohol and Consent

Consent cannot be given if a person is incapacitated by drugs and/or alcohol.

Alcohol and drugs can be used as a way to incapacitate a person so that they are less likely to say no or fight back. But that does not mean you are to blame if you are assaulted, even if you have been drinking or taking drugs.

Below are some obvious signs that a person is impaired by alcohol and/or drugs and may no longer make a clear decision about giving consent:

  • If a person is stumbling or falling down;
  • If a person cannot stand or walk on their own;
  • If a person’s speech is slurred or they are not communicating clearly;
  • If a person cannot focus their eyes or is confused about what is happening around them;
  • If a person has vomited, urinated or defecated on themselves or around them;
  • If a person is sleeping or unconscious, they cannot give consent.

Remember, it can be difficult to assess if someone is capable of giving consent if you or they have been drinking. When in doubt, it is best to not engage in sexual activity.

Think of alcohol and consent in terms of drunk driving...

Drunk DrivingAlcohol and Consent
If you and a passenger are drunk and get behind the wheel of a is the driver who is arrested for drunk driving. Being intoxicated does not excuse the driver from getting behind the wheel of a car. If you and a partner are is the person who initiates the sexual contact who is responsible for sexual assault. Being intoxicated does not excuse the initiator from being charged with sexual assault.

Local Hotlines

24-Hr Sexual Assault Hotline
(920) 722-8150
24-Hr Domestic Abuse Hotline
(920) 235-5998

Contact Information
Name: Ciara Hill
Phone: (920) 424-0267
Hours: M-F: 8:30am-4:30pm
Office: Student Success Center, Room 231

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