Consent

Copied from the BSC Guiding Documents

Definitions

Consent is defined as unambiguous and willing participation or cooperation in act or attitude that is commonly understood to be consistent with the exercise of free will. Consent requires participants who are fully conscious, are equally free to act, have clearly communicated their willingness, cooperation, or permission to participate in a specific sexual activity, are positive and clear in their desires, and are able to cease ongoing consensual activity at any time. Refusal to consent does not have to be verbal; it can be expressed with gestures, body language or attitude. Consent to some form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity. A prior sexual history between the complainant and respondent does not constitute consent. Even in the context of a relationship, there must be mutual consent to engage in sexual activity. Consent must be ongoing throughout a sexual encounter and can be revoked at any time. Once consent is withdrawn, the sexual activity must stop immediately.

Consent is voluntary and is not freely given if:

  1. It is obtained through the use of force, through the fear of or the threat of force, intimidation or by kidnap; or
  2. A reasonable person in the position of the alleged perpetrator at the time the alleged conduct occurred should have known that the other person was unable to give consent for any of the following reasons:
    • The individual is unable to make an informed decision as a result of alcohol or other drugs (including but not limited to predatory drugs or prescribed medications); or
    • The individual is unconscious, asleep, or suffering from shock; or
    • The individual is under the age of eighteen and therefore legally unable to give consent; or
    • The individual has a known mental disorder or developmental or physical disability, and therefore legally unable to give consent.
  3. The individual has acted or spoken in a manner which expresses they refuse to give consent

For purposes of this Policy, the age of consent is consistent with California Penal Code Section 261.5.

Workshops

The consent workshops provide our members with quality, accessible consent education by giving consent workshops. The purpose of these workshops is to create and facilitate peer education around issues of consent, sexual harassment and sexual violence, power and privilege. The workshops are flexible – we tailor our workshops to different communities and house environments.