What is Consent?
CONSENT is the clear and voluntary agreement to engage in particular sexual
activity, communicated through mutually understandable words or actions. Consent is always freely informed and actively given. Silence or lack of resistance cannot be assumed to imply consent. Consent must be ongoing, and it may be withdrawn at any time. Consent for one sexual act does not imply consent for any subsequent sexual activity. Consent may never be obtained through use of coercion, intimidation, force, or threats. Consent cannot be obtained from an individual who is incapable of giving consent because the person:
- Is incapacitated, including through the consumption of alcohol or drugs;
- Is asleep, “blacked out,” unconscious, or physically helpless;
- Has a mental, intellectual, or physical disability; or
- Is under the legal age to give consent (16 years of age in Massachusetts).