Consent is…

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Consent is…

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In today’s society, consent is not as much of a priority as it should be. Although it seems that people are starting to talk about it, what consent means is still unclear in all situations.Due to the amount of importance it holds, we need a clear definition of what consent is. Giving consent may seem awkward or insignificant in the moment, but it can affect the rest of your life.

According to RAINN, “consent is an agreement between participants to engage in sexual activity.” Consent is NEVER given or even inferred by how someone acts or dresses. Also, consent is fixed, it doesn’t vary based on someone’s gender, sexual orientation, or sexual identity. There are generally five universal essentials of consent: verbal, enthusiastic, freely given, sober, and consistent.

If someone says no then it really means no. The other person can’t just go for it. The partner expects respect and deserves respect.”

— Sophomore Alison Galindo

A verbal agreement is the most necessary part of consent because in order to be 100% sure of safe intimacy, consent should never be implied. Any sense of hesitation from a partner implies that the consent is not enthusiastic, and while they could have eventually said yes, it is not a safe and intimate environment.

A Wakefield freshman said, “consent is something that can be taken back at any time. If you give consent one minute but aren’t feeling it the next, you can easily say so and your partner should completely understand. Being in a relationship doesn’t give you the right to do whatever you want without permission.”

This leads to freely given consent; if there is hesitation and they say yes due to any form of persuasion, it is not consent. In order to give any form of consent, the person MUST be sober; you never know if the person would have made the same decision if they weren’t intoxicated. Lastly, just because the person may have given consent in the past, does not automatically give authorization every time after that.

Sophomore Alison Galindo said, “If someone says no then it really means no. The other person can’t just go for it. The partner expects respect and deserves respect.”

How does age fit into the equation? According to OPT (Options for Sexual Health), a 14 or 15 year old can give consent, but their partner has to be less than five years older than them. They also cannot consent to any sexual activity with a person of authority, even if they are within the five year time frame. Finally, even if criteria is met, a 12 year old and under cannot give consent at all. It would be considered sexual assault no matter what.

Sophomore Diana Guzman, said, “to give consent you need to be in the right frame of mind and be old enough to really comprehend the importance of consent.”

Consent is the base of a healthy and good relationship. Hopefully, this information will help give you the power to say no when you mean no.

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