It’s important to understand meaning of ‘consent’

Arpan Yagnik and Arpan Yagnik

Contraceptive devices, to counter STIs and unwanted pregnancy, such as condoms and pills are readily and at times freely available to the public for safeguarding them.

However, we also need to discuss contraception for safeguarding both the partners against the risk of being charged with sexual misconduct.

As per CDC’s 2011 study, one out of every five women in the U.S. has had to go through traumatic experience of being sexually assaulted during their lifetime. This statistic about the U.S. is disturbing.

In my conversation with members of the University about sexual misconduct I noticed that we all, in general, tend to pay less attention in understanding the notion of “consent.”

I strongly feel we should devote more time and energy toward understanding “consent.” Hence, I advocate a thorough understanding of the notion of consent as a form of contraception because it can protect individuals, both men and women, against any unwanted social consequences.

When it comes to sexual activity the concept of consent is more stringent. With the motive of defending the victim the meaning of consent has been standardized to a direct verbal confirmation.

Consent, in this context, has to be verbal and clear, sober and unimpaired, consistent, prompt and unforced and non-threatening.

Consent cannot be given through mediated communication channels, which means that consent given on social media, emails or texts is not valid. Consent given through non-verbal communication or body language is also not considered legitimate.

An individual, if under the influence of alcohol, is unable to give consent. Consent also needs to be consistent without which, one should not proceed with his/her sexual activity and should stop instantly the moment consent is withdrawn. Every individual has the right to change his or her mind.

Consent given a year ago or a month or a day ago is not to be understood as a legitimate consent.

Consent has to be prompt.

If an individual has been coerced into giving consent for indulging in sexual activity, then it is considered as a violation and the consent is nullified.

Consent is the contraception that prevents an individual from the consequences of being charged and proved guilty of sexual assault.

More information can be found under the Division of Student Affairs’ Student conduct webpage.

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