What is Consent?

  • Consent is a positive response that is informed, freely and actively given.
  • Consent is hearing the word “yes.”
  • It is NOT the absence of hearing “no.”
  • Consent cannot be given when a person is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Sex without consent is against the LAW!


  • Consent for past acts does not mean consent for future acts!
  • Consent for some sexual activity does not mean consent for any sexual activity!
  • Being in a relationship does not imply consent.
  • Consent can be withdrawn at any point without explanation.
  • Consent is not forever.

Consent cannot be given or received when a person is impaired. Impairment is defined as an individual’s inability to understand the situation or understand the consequences of their decision.

Impairment includes:

  • Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Having a cognitive impairment.
  • Being under the age of consent.

Indiana University Key Terms