Wildcats Get Consent!
UNH’s Student Code of Conduct
UNH’s Student Code of Conduct defines sexual misconduct as “any sexual activity without seeking and receiving expressed permission” - which means, any sexual activity without consent is sexual assault.
In truth, there can be a lot of confusion about the terms “seeking,” “receiving,” “expressed,” and “permission.” Seeking and receiving expressed permission to engage in sexual activity is best done when using verbal communication with your partner. Non-verbal communication may lead a person to think he or she has sought or received permission when, in fact, he/she has not.
If you want to engage in a sex activity (oral, anal, vaginal), make sure that you always get consent!
- A mutual agreement, based on a shared desire for specific sexual activities;
- An ongoing verbal interaction, taken one step at a time, to an expressed and honest yes;
- Mutual awareness of possible consequences of activities;
- Each partner remains open to and respects the other partner’s expression of agreement or disagreement to engage in the activity.
Consent is not...
- Power - This occurs when there is an imbalance of physical size and strength, or of status or authority, it can feel impossible to honestly express desires and limits;
- Coercion - This occurs when one gets another to say “yes” by threatening, forcing, manipulating, intimidating, pressuring, blackmailing, drugging, and getting him or her drunk.
What does seeking consent mean?
Seeking consent means...
- Being clear about your desires and expectations;
- Asking permission to engage in specific, named sexual behavior, whether or not you were the one who initiated sexual contact;
- Asking permission each time you wish to progress to new, different, or more intimate sexual behavior.
Seeking consent does not mean assuming that..
- Someone who consents to one type of sexual activity consents to all types;
- Previous consent to sexual activity applies to current or future activity
- Sexy clothes, flirtatious behavior, accepting a drink, or anything other than clearly expressed consent is an invitation for sex.
What does receiving consent mean?
Receiving consent means...
- Hearing clear agreement /desire to engage in specific, named sexual activity;
- Always asking when you’re not sure what the other person is telling you.
Receiving consent does not mean...
- Ignoring your partner whey they say "no." Unless your partner says “yes,” consent cannot be assumed;
- Accepting your partner's “yes” when he/she is incapacitated by alcohol or other drugs; a clear state of mind is required.
We asked Wildcats what they think about the idea of consent…
Alcohol and Consent
Is it true alcohol is the #1 date rape drug?
A relationship between alcohol and drugs and sexual assault does exist, but it’s not as straightforward as many people think. Contrary to popular belief, alcohol does not cause sexual assault, but alcohol is the #1 “date rape drug” and is often used as a tool to commit an assault.
Perpetrators may use alcohol to disable a potential victim by encouraging that person to drink beyond her/his normal limits, encouraging someone who is alone or looks uncomfortable to drink beyond her/his limits, or by simply targeting someone who appears too intoxicated to resist sexual advances.
Can someone consent to having sex if they are intoxicated?
No. Once a person is intoxicated by alcohol and/or other drugs, she/he cannot legally give consent, even if she/he appears to give consent or verbally says “yes.”
If someone you are with is having difficulty walking or talking, is throwing up, passed out, or just generally unaware of what’s going on, that person cannot legally give consent.
What tips do you have if I choose to drink?
The choice not to drink is always a low-risk choice. If you choose to drink, follow these guidelines to reduce your risk:
- Listen to your body. Think about whether or not you want to drink before you go out. Even if you choose to drink one day it doesn't mean you need to choose to drink the next. Only do what feels comfortable and right for you.
- Get comfortable saying no. If you are offered a drink and don't want one say, “no thanks”. It is always ok to say “no,” listen to your body
- Eat and hydrate. Drinking on an empty stomach can make you intoxicated faster. Before going out, have something to drink. And while you are drinking, alternate an alcoholic beverage with a non-alcoholic drink.
- Know what you are drinking. Always make your own drinks, know what you are drinking and never leave your drink unattended
- Spread drinks out. The body can metabolize about 1 drink per hour. Spread your drinks out over a period of time to give your body a chance to keep up.
- Don't mix alcohol with other drugs. If you are taking any non-prescription medications, prescriptions, or illicit drugs avoid adding alcohol to the mix.
- Know who you are with. Be suspicious if someone is urging you to drink beyond your comfort level or trying to get you alone
- Know your personal limits. You don't have to drink as much as your friends or the people around you. Know what your personal limits are and stick to them.
What can my friends and I do to be safe?
Acting as a community helps UNH be a safe place. Remember these tips when you are out ...
- Have a plan. Talk with your friends about your plans for the night BEFORE you go out. Do you feel like drinking? Are you interested in hooking up? Where do you want to go? Having a clear plan ahead of time helps friends look after one another.
- Go out togther. Go out as a group and come home as a group; never separate and never leave your friend(s) behind.
- Watch out for others. If you are walking at night with friends and notice a woman walking by herself in the same direction, ask her to join you so she doesn’t have to walk alone.
- Diffuse situations. If you see a friend coming on too strong to someone who may be too drunk to make a consensual decision, interrupt, distract, or redirect the situation. If you are too embarrassed or shy to speak out, get someone else to step in.
- Trust your instincts. If a situation or person doesn’t seem “right” to you, trust your gut and remove yourself, if possible, from the situation.
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