September 10th, 2018
We’re spending the month of September talking about sexual consent – let’s get real!
Discussions surrounding rape, sexual harassment, and sexual consent have gained significant recognition the last few years; and movements like “No Means No” and #MeToo have emerged in order to combat the injustice and stigma associated with these topics.
So what exactly is sexual consent? Consent means to actively and mutually agree to be sexual with someone. Consenting and asking for consent are all about setting your personal boundaries and respecting those of your partner. Both people must agree to sex — every single time— for it to be consensual (Planned Parenthood, 2018).
Without consent, sexual activity (including oral sex, genital touching, and vaginal or anal penetration) is sexual assault or rape. Silence or lack of resistance does not demonstrate consent. Sexual consent is always clearly communicated — there should be no question or mystery.
Here are the basic characteristics of consent. Consent is permission that is…
To further the discussion on consent , have you ever heard of the phrase “Affirmative Consent?” Do you know what it means? We’ve got the low down for you!
“No Means No” has been the mantra for sexual consent for quite some time, but recently, a new, affirmative motto has taken its place – “Yes Means Yes.” The phrase “affirmative consent” might appear to be redundant. Is there such a thing as “negative consent”? Yes, there is — and that’s why we need consistent, specified and formalized language to make clear what we mean when we’re talking about sexual offense, assault and rape. Ever wonder why you have to hit the “Agree” button every time you sign up for a newsletter or download a new app? Because active consent— even if it means a few extra steps — is worth it (Barreca, 2017).
If someone wants something, they will affirmatively agree. And if they haven’t agreed and are still treated as if they did, that’s not okay. Within a sexual encounter, affirmative consent must be ongoing. Silence does not mean yes (SUNY, 2018). For additional information on affirmative consent, check out the link below!
If you or someone you know has been sexually abused, assaulted, or raped, there are services out there! The S.A.F.E. Center, located in Kearney, provides free and confidential services for individuals and families affected by domestic and sexual violence while bringing awareness and prevention efforts to communities across South Central Nebraska. There are even special services for UNK students specifically! Check out for website for more resources: http://www.safecenter.org.
It’s important to promote awareness! The UNK Women’s Center is working with the local SAFE Center for a “1 in 5K Neon Fun Run” at 9 AM on September 22nd at Yanney Park in Kearney, NE to raise awareness about sexual assault. The name, “1 in 5K,” comes from research estimating that 1 out 5 women is a survivor of sexual assault. The link is located below to sign up for this awesome opportunity!
Understanding sexual consent is important. And we hope this blog helped you understand and gain awareness toward this topic. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the UNK Peer Health Education Office. Have a great week! Go Lopers!