Sexual consent has a very clear definition that prevents misunderstandings. But in some situations, it helps to understand the specifics to prevent from breaking the law. Punishment for sex crimes is severe, and can include fines and jailtime.
Notable high-profile sex related cases have become the focus of many discussions about sexual consent. With several movements trending across the world, the importance of consent has never been higher. But not all sex crime attorneys are the same, and conflicting information about consent has grown.
Consent is defined as a clear and voluntary agreement between participants to engage in sexual activities. These activities are specific, and can include more than two participants. Based on that information, consent seems pretty concrete for all parties involved. But there are a few ways to misrepresent the definition of consent when you add in new variables.
Consent That Doesn’t Count
Even if consent is voluntary, it doesn’t always count. Alcohol or drugs are one of the few variables that can nullify consent for sexual intercourse. An individual that is incapacitated can’t make voluntary decisions. Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs makes it illegal to drive, so it is reasonable to suggest that a person can’t make other life changing decisions.
This has come up in several cases where the accused got confirmation for a sexual act before partying. After drugs and alcohol were consumed, they assumed that the offer of intercourse still stood. This was not the case, as the victim later on admitted that they didn’t consent or feel comfortable with the situation.
There are multiple sides to this story, and it is told a million times every year. When it comes to consent where drugs or alcohol is involved, then the answer is always ‘no’. Nonconsensual sex will always be considered sexual assault or rape. And to further cement that statement, silence during intercourse is not considered consent.
When consent is given, it is a clear statement. Asking for sex repeatedly until an individual gives in is known as coercion. This is why constant communication prevents misunderstandings from happening.
Consent that is given freely can also be revoked in the middle of a sexual act. No matter how an encounter starts, communication should always be a top priority. A misunderstanding can still count as an illegal act in the eyes of the law. During an encounter, there is a need to be responsible, open and able to convey emotions as needed.
Not every encounter needs to start with verbal agreements in order to be consensual. But said encounter needs to stop when one person decides they’re not comfortable with the situation. The line between consensual sex and sexual assault can be as thin as a single ignored word. Learn what consent sounds and looks like, and misunderstandings will be rare.
Know The Law
Sex crime acts are life changers for everyone involved. Use law resources to stay up to date on the rules of sexual consent. Instead of being blindsided by changes, you’ll always be a step ahead.