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Consent must be clearly given in every kind of situation involving two people engaging in an activity. Consent must be obtained for sexual activity, whether with a long term partner or a new relationship. Without consent, any sexual act is sexual assault. Southern Illinois University Carbondale has an affirmative consent policy which means consent is the communication of an affirmative, freely and conscious decisions by all parties to engage in an activity.

SIU Sexual Assault Policy

SIU is committed to fostering an environment in which all members of our campus community are safe, secure, and free from sexual misconduct of any form.

View the Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence and Stalking Policy.

Consent is Everything

What does consent look like? It's as simple as Tea. . . 

Verbal Consent

Consent can be verbal and is the clearest and safest form. Examples of affirmative verbal consent include, but are not limited to:

It is important to remember that people are different and have different ways of expressing consent. If you are not sure you have received a clear, enthusiastic yes from your partner, it is your responsibility to ask. 

You cannot assume you have consent because someone is not physically resisting you or verbally refusing your contact. Consent is not to be inferred because of silence, passivity, or a lack of resistance.

How to Ask for Consent

Obtaining consent does not have to "ruin the mood" or be "awkward." What's better than asking your partner what they want you to do? When parties communicate about what they want it keeps both people safe and happy. Asking for consent can look like:

No Consent

There are many ways to ask for and give consent, there are also many way to indicate that someone is NOT consenting to an act. A person who says "NO", "STOP", or "I don't want to" has clearly indicated they do not want to engage in that activity. The absence of a verbal NO, is not the same as a yes. Body language can also be used to communicate a lack of consent:


Consent for one activity is not consent for other activity. Consent can also be taken away at any time, including in the middle of sexual activity. Consent cannot be obtained by coercion, force or threat of force. If a person is incapacitated they cannot give consent.


Consent is a clear, affirmative, unambiguous and freely given agreement to engage in a specific sexual activity. Consent is demonstrated verbally or through actions that clearly indicate a willingness to engage in the specific sexual activity. Lack of verbal or physical resistance does not constitute consent. Consent to engage in sexual activity with one person does not constitute consent to engage in sexual activity with another person, and consent for a specific activity does not imply consent for any other activity. Use of alcohol, drugs, or other intoxicants does not diminish one’s responsibility to obtain consent.

Consent must be knowing and voluntary. To give consent, a person must be awake, of legal age, and have the capacity to reasonably understand the nature of his/her actions. Consent cannot be given by an individual who is mentally or physically incapacitated through the effect of drugs, alcohol or other intoxicants or for any other reason. Consent cannot be given when it is coerced, forced, or obtained by use of duress, fear, threats, or violence. Consent is not implied by the existence of a prior or current relationship or participation in prior sexual activity. A person’s manner of dress does not constitute consent. Consent to engage in sexual activity may be withdrawn at any time and is automatically withdrawn by a person who is no longer capable of giving consent.