University of Southern Indiana

University Policies and Definitions

a) Consent
Consent is clear, knowing and voluntary agreement to participate in a given activity. Consent is active, not passive; silence, in and of itself, cannot be interpreted as consent. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create mutually understandable, clear permission regarding willingness to engage in (and the conditions of) sexual activity. Consent to any one form of sexual activity cannot automatically imply consent to any other forms of sexual activity, and previous relationships or prior consent cannot imply consent to future sexual acts. In order to give effective consent, one must be of legal age.

b) Incapacitation
Incapacitation is a state where someone cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because they lack the capacity to give knowing consent (e.g., to understand the “who, what, when, where, why or how” of their sexual interaction). Sexual activity with someone who one should know to be, or based on the circumstances should reasonably have known to be mentally or physically incapacitated (by alcohol or other drug use, by a state of unconsciousness or “blackout”, or by an apparent or known mental or cognitive disability), constitutes a violation of this policy.

c) Force
Force is the use of physical violence and/or imposing on someone physically to gain sexual access. Force also includes threats, intimidation (implied threats) and coercion that overcome resistance or produce consent.

d) Coercion
Coercion is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity. Coercive behavior differs from seductive behavior based on the type of pressure someone uses to get consent from another. When someone makes clear to you that they do not want sex, that they want to stop, or that they do not want to go past a certain point of sexual interaction, continued pressure beyond that point can be coercive.

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