Spring break is just around the corner and I am sure you are all ready to get off campus for awhile! Whether you are going to a Tropical Island, or just going home for the week safety is extremely important. Today I am going to specifically talk about alcohol and consent.
What is consent? Consent is a mutual agreement on a shared desire for specific sexual activities, it is an ongoing verbal interaction, it is saying yes, it’s mutual awareness of possible consequences of activities, and each partner remains open and respects the other partner’s expression of agreement or disagreement in the activity.
Consent is not the use of power and coercion. Power occurs when there is an imbalance of physical size and strength or status of authority, this makes it impossible to express honest desires. Coercion occurs when one gets another to say “yes” by threatening, forcing, manipulating, pressuring, drugging and getting him or her drunk. Consent means being clear, and asking permission. There can never be assumptions.
Now let’s get back to the topic of spring break. Spring break contains a lot of relaxing, sitting by the beach, going out, and in most cases, A LOT of drinking. It is important to understand alcohol consumption and how it relates to consent. Alcohol is the number one “date rape drug” and is often used to commit an assault. A person cannot legally give consent if they are incapacitated by drugs and/or alcohol. Having sex with someone who is drunk, passed out/ blacked out, is sexual assault. If you are questioning if you should have sex with someone, the chances are you shouldn’t. Here are some clear signs that a person has drank too much and cannot consent.
- A person’s speech is slurred, they make no sense
- They stumble and fall, if they can’t stand they are too drunk to give consent
- If a person cannot comprehend and focus their eyes they are too drunk
- If a person is passed out or sleeping they are too drunk to have sex with
These are things are very important to keep in mind when you go on spring break in order to keep yourself and others safe! Here are some safety tips to think about while you are on break:
- Know what consent is, and respect it for all forms of intimacy
- Talk about it, in order to obtain consent you must have a verbal exchange
- If consent is given, always use protection
- Do not abuse alcohol or drugs if you think you may engage in sexual activity
- Be smart and responsible in the vacation environment
- Always keep an eye on your drink, take your drink with you!
- Look out for each other, stay with your friends
I hope defining consent and going over some safety tips will help every one remain safe next week. I hope you all have a great vacation whether you are going away, staying on campus, or going home. Enjoy and remember if you have any questions about consent feel free to come into the SHARPP office or check out our Consent Page!