Whether we're speaking about domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, or stalking, interpersonal violence affects numerous college students, faculty, and staff. We don't have to stand by and accept it as part of the university experience, however. We must Stand Up! to interpersonal violence, and the first step is understanding consent. What is consent, exactly? We're glad you asked.
Consent: A brief tutorial
Cooperation is not consent
The absence of a "No" does not mean "Yes." Consent requires ongoing, clear, and consistent communication between sexual partners. Don't assume consent has been given. Ask! And check back once in a while to ensure that consent is mutual.
Alcohol and consent
Consent is legally impossible if one' blood alcohol content (BAC) has reached the legal limit (State of WI .08%). Since 75% of sexual assaults on college campuses involve alcohol, it's best not to engage in sexual contact when one's level of intoxication is unknown or in question.
Authority and consent
Consent is legally impossible when one person holds authority over the other. Such established relationships contain underlying vulnerabilities, and consent cannot be legally given or requested.
Violence can occur among multiple individuals, a few individuals, or interpersonally. Be an active bystander by intervening in situations, such as getting help from resources and reporting acts of violence. The videos below demonstrating standing up to stop violence involves everyone, so we can have a positive community.
You can help prevent sexual assault before it happens, by creating a distraction or asking direct questions. People often feel nervous to intervene because they don't know what to do, they don't want to cause a scene, or think it's none of their business. The resource below gives you ideas to distract someone and help out if you feel that someone is in trouble.