Consent and Respect
One of your roommates calls you the next morning. You realize that you're not in your room, but someone else. They start telling you that you went home with somebody that you met at the bar last night, and you start to remember that things apparently got physical fast. Your crush took advantage of you. You didn't want any of this to happen...you're upset...and you wish that it could all just go away.
Stories above are not uncommon in today's University setting.
According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, here are a few statistics to think about:
An estimated 20-25% of students experience sexual assault in college. That is approximately 1 in 4 persons. Estimated by reports only...it could be even higher.
90% know the person who assault them.
3-6% of those assaulted are male.
To prevent situations from turning out negatively, it is important to understand a few key elements of the above story- Consent and Respect.
What is consent?
Sexual activity requires consent, which is defined as voluntary, positive agreement between the participants to engage in specific sexual activity.2
Communicating Consent = YES, MEANS YES! & NO, MEANS NO!
Consent to sexual activity can be communicated in a variety of ways, but one should presume that consent has not been given in the absence of clear, positive agreement.2
While verbal consent is not an absolute requirement for consensual sexual activity, verbal communication prior to engaging in sex helps to clarify consent.2
Communicating verbally before engaging in sexual activity is imperative. However potentially awkward it may seem, talking about your own and your partner's sexual desires, needs, and limitations provide a basis for a positive experience.2
Consent must be clear and definite for each participant at every stage of a sexual encounter. The absence of "no" should not be understood to mean there is consent.2
A prior relationship does not indicate consent to future activity.2
Q: If someone has been drinking or under the influence of drugs, can they give consent?
A:NO! A person who is asleep, mentally, or physically incapacitated, either through the effect of drugs or alcohol or for any other reason, is not capable of giving valid consent.
The use of alcohol or drugs may seriously interfere with the participants' judgment about whether consent has been sought and given. At all stages of sexual contact, you must have clear consent.
How to Respect?
Respect is the courteous regard for one's own or another person's decisions. If someone does not want to or is apprehensive to give consent to have sexual relations than you are to respect that person's wishes. Not doing so may be considered a violation and a crime.
We encourage any member of Southeastern Louisiana University community who experiences any form of sexual misconduct to contact the Office of Student Advocacy and Accountability regardless of when or where the act occurred. We can connect you to valuable resources that assist you in recovering from an experience and in deciding what options may be available, such as on-campus counseling, the student conduct process, the criminal justice system, or civil courts.
If violations occur and you or any other member of the University community would like to file a complaint please REPORT IT!
If you ever feel unsafe or threatened at this University immediately call our University Police Department at 985.549.2222. Blue Phones are also available around campus for emergency situations.
Counseling is available for all students at Southeastern at no cost. If you would like to speak to a counseling professional about a situation you may call 985.549.3894 to schedule an appointment.
Please visit these valuable resources below for additional information regarding Violence Prevention:
1National Sexual Violence Resource Center-- NSVRC.org
2Adapted from Northwestern University--Defining Sexual Assault and Consent, http://www.northwestern.edu/womencenter/issues-information/sexual-assault/defining-sexual-assault.html