Affirmative Consent 

Person holding their hand in front of their face to signal

Consent is not effectively given if it results from the use of force, threats, intimidation, or if it is from someone who is incapacitated. 

Force is the use of physical violence or imposing on someone physically to gain sexual access.
Threats exist where a reasonable person would have been compelled by the words or actions of another to give permission to sexual contact they would not otherwise have given. For example, threats to kill or harm someone, kill or harm themselves, or to kill or harm someone for whom a person cares constitute threats.
Intimidation occurs when someone uses physical presence to menace another, although no physical contact occurs, or where knowledge of prior violent behavior by an assailant, coupled with menacing behavior, places someone in fear as an implied threat.
Incapacitation may result from alcohol or other drug use, unconsciousness, or other factors. The use of alcohol or drugs, in and of itself does not render a person incapacitated. Incapacitation is a state beyond drunkenness or intoxication. The impact of alcohol and drugs varies from person to person. Incapacitation is a state where a person cannot make a rational, reasonable decision because they lack the capacity to give affirmative consent (to understand the who, what, when, where, why or how of sexual interaction). Incapacity can also result from illness, sleep, mental disability and other circumstances. Engaging in sexual activity with a person whom you know to be mentally or physically incapacitated, or reasonably should know to be incapacitated, violates this policy.

University Affirmative Consent Standard

The following are part of the affirmative consent standard at the university:

  • A person who does not want to consent to sex is not required to resist. 
  • Consent to some forms of sexual activity does not automatically imply consent to other forms of sexual activity. 
  • Silence, previous sexual relationships, or the existence of a current relationship do not imply consent. 
  • Consent cannot be implied by attire or inferred from the giving or acceptance of gifts, money, or other items. 
  • Consent to sexual activity may be withdrawn at any time, as long as the withdrawal is communicated clearly. 
  • Withdrawal of consent can be manifested through conduct and need not be a verbal withdrawal of consent. 
  • In order to give effective consent, the person giving consent must be of legal age under Colorado law for the purposes of determining whether there was a sexual assault. 
  • A respondent’s intoxication resulting from intentional use of alcohol/drugs will not function as a defense to engaging in sexual activity without an individual’s consent. 

"If you're still struggling with consent, just imagine instead of initiating sex, you're making them a cup of tea."

Copyright ©2015 Emmeline May and Blue Seat Studios