What is sexual assault?

Sexual activity that you did not consent to is sexual assault.

What does it mean to give consent to sexual activity?

Consent: Consent is voluntary, sober, enthusiastic, creative, wanted, informed, mutual, honest, and verbal agreement to engage in sexual activity.

  • Consent must be an active agreement. Real consent is not coerced.
  • Consent may be withdrawn at any time without regard to any sexual activity that happened before.
  • Consent may not be inferred from silence or passivity alone. The absence of a “no” does not mean “yes.”
  • Consent should be asked for every step of the way; if you want to move to the next level of sexual intimacy, just ask. If your partner does not consent, then STOP.
  • Consent cannot be assumed, even in the context of a relationship. Just because you are in a relationship does not mean that you have permission to have sex with your partner.
  • A person who is too drunk to be aware of what is happening, or who is too young, or who is mentally incapacitated in some way, cannot legally give consent.
  • Both people should be involved in the decision to have sex.
Consent may be defined differently by federal, state, or local laws, or your school. Check with your Title IX coordinator to find out if your campus has a specific definition it uses.

What if I'm not sure whether what happened to me was rape?

If you are unsure if you were sexually assaulted, you can speak to a counselor or a sexual assault victim advocate. They can offer you support and help you talk about what happened.

What is Sexual Assault?