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Boreal Community Media

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Apr 10, 2019 03:57PM ● By Editor
Media Release from the Violence Prevention Center - April 10, 2019

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center has named this year’s theme as I Ask for Consent. Over the last few years there has been a shift in the discussion of consent and a growing emphasis on the importance of sexual consent. Previous ways of discussing consent focused on “no means no”. This slogan communicated the idea that unless you explicitly say “no,” you are implicitly consenting to whatever you are being subjected to. The discussion of consent then transitioned to “yes means yes,”. This shifted the idea to an understanding that unless you explicitly say “yes,” you are not giving consent. Currently the idea of consent has transformed to the idea that consent is those two ideas and more; enthusiastic, informed, explicit, active, mutual, and ongoing. Consent is not the absence of “no” or only the presence of a “yes”. It is not assumed, implied, or obtained through coercion, pressure, manipulation or deception. Consent is not valid when influenced by fear, possible when a person has power over the other or possible when someone is intoxicated through alcohol or drugs. Consent is also not possible if they are not old enough to legally consent. In the state of Minnesota, the general age of consent is 16 years-old and is raised to 18 when the other person is an authority figure or in a position of power.

Here are some things you can do to ensure you and the other person(s) will be happy and comfortable with the physical activity you engage in: 

1. Establish reciprocal interest. 
2. Avoid partners who are vulnerable. 
3. Pay attention to both verbal and non-verbal responses. 
4. Encourage others as well as yourself to say "no" as well as "yes" at any point. 
5. Be cautious. 

To read the Violence Prevention Center April Newsletter, follow this link.
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