No Does Not Mean Go. Do you remember when you expressed interest in someone and later exchanged kisses? The mood feels almost magical, but you can’t seem to ignore that things may be moving a little fast. Your crush is driving too fast, so you ask them to slow down, but they ignore you. Something that initially started as mutual has now become an interest for one PARTY: those who can’t control themselves. What do you do? Do you keep cool, or should you panic?
In situations such as this, it can be terrifying and unpredictable. Unaware of what could occur next, how can one under distress convince someone else to control themselves? This brewing situation is a clear example of sexual assault. Sexual assault is sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the victim. This warrants unwanted sexual touching, fondling, attempted rape, and forcing someone to perform sexual acts. According to the Rape, Abuse & Incent National Network (RAINN), eight out of ten sexual assault victims experience intimate partner violence or acquaintance rape.
Verbal Consent is Essential
No does not mean go. Whether you are dating, married, or just getting to know someone with a shared connection, your body is yours. No one has the right to coerce, force, or intimidate anyone into committing any sexual acts that one does not agree or consent to. Verbal consent is essential. A clear yes is a safe and definitive way to determine if one gives verbal consent. If a person is unsure, pay attention to their body when they need a moment to pause or ASK one to slow things down. These indicators are critical to pay attention to and, if ignored, could have potential legal consequences.
When two consenting parties engage in sex, they have reciprocity and mutual respect. If one gives verbal consent and the other does not, it’s not mutually agreed upon. That’s the moment to retreat and to reinforce respect for the other individual. A healthy romantic interest in someone reflects respect, boundaries, love, and self-control. Suppose you are interested in someone or are in a relationship with someone, and the nature of your relationship doesn’t mirror respect, boundaries, love, and self-control. In that case, there are resources available that can educate anyone who wishes to know what a healthy relationship looks like.
What Is Consent?
Picture: I’m tired of explaining consent” written on the back of a woman.
Consent is an agreement between participants to engage in sexual activity. It is a verbal and affirmative expression of consent. Having sex with someone in the past does not give them the right or permission to have sex with you in the future unless you give verbal consent. The incredible advantage of consent is that a person can change their mind at any time.
For additional information, please go to https://www.rainn.org/articles/what-is-consent
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