What is Consent?
“Consent” is: expressed through affirmative, voluntary words or actions mutually understandable to all parties involved; is given for a specific sexual act at a specific time and can be withdrawn at any time; cannot be coerced or compelled by duress, threat, or force; cannot be given by someone who, for any reason, cannot understand the facts, nature, extent, or implications of the sexual situation occurring, including, but not limited to, those who are under the legal age of consent (17 years in Illinois), asleep, unconscious, or mentally or physically incapacitated through the effects of drugs or alcohol, or mentally impaired due to an intellectual or other disability. Consent cannot be assumed based on: silence; the absence of verbal or physical resistance; an individual’s manner of dress; the existence of a prior or current relationship; or consent to prior sexual activity. Consent for sexual acts cannot be given by a third party, and consent to sexual activity with one individual does not constitute consent to sexual activity with another individual.
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