April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month… So, let us talk about consent. What does it mean and how does it affect us?
Consent is an agreement given between two or more participants to engage in sexual activity. Agreeing to something because of a threat, pressure, or intimidation is not consent because it was not given freely (RAINN, 2021).
A person may consent to one sexual activity but that does not mean they have consented to something else. Consenting to one thing does not mean consenting to all. You can retract your consent at any time. You are not under any written agreements to follow through to anything that makes you feel uncomfortable.
You can agree to a sexual activity and then decide you do not want to do that sexual activity anymore. You can change your mind on what you are doing at any point. At this point, the other person must stop and respect your decision.
We want to acknowledge a person legally cannot give consent if they are on drugs or alcohol. Minnesota’s age of consent is 16 years old. Meaning that an individual who is under the age of 16 years old is not legally able to give consent in Minnesota.
Still confused on what it means to give and receive consent? There is a popular video that compares consent with tea as an easy explanation on consent. Click the link to watch! https://www.youtube.com/watch/oQbei5JGiT8
Still have questions? Call Central MN Sexual Assault Center and talk to any sexual violence advocate on your questions on consent, 320-251-4357.