Consent is necessary for all sexual interactions. While talking about what another person is interested in sexually may seem awkward, the consequences of not getting consent are serious and harmful. Any sexual activity without consent is sexual violence. Consent is also important in contexts other than sexual activity, including other kinds of physical intimacy (like hugs) and for virtual activity like sharing sexual texts or images.
Consent to Sexual Activity is:
- An enthusiastic, mutual agreement between everyone involved
- A conversation that requires consciousness and clarity
- Asking, not assuming. A "yes" to one thing does not imply a "yes" to all things
- A decision that can be revoked at any time
In short, consent is a “yes” when it is safe and OK to say “no.”
There are several circumstances in which consent is not possible. These include, but are not limited to, when someone is: forced, threatened, unconscious, unaware or is incapacitated by any substance (including alcohol). To learn more about the formal UT Austin definition of consent, see the policy.
Additional resources related to consent
- Learn more about how HealthyHorns Play Safe including information on condoms, contraception and STI testing.
- Attend a HealthyHorns Peer Education workshop.
- The VAV Student Organization is open to all students who want to build a campus culture that values consent and healthy relationships and supports survivors. The VAV Student Org offers a supportive space for learning about how to combat interpersonal violence. The student org meets every Tuesday 6:00 to 7:00pm. To learn more, email us or join the VAV Student Org Facebook group.
- Request VAV’s Introduction to Interpersonal Violence workshop.
- Learn more about consent by booking a performance of Get Sexy. Get Consent. The VAV Theatre for Dialogue ensemble uses applied and interactive theatre to bring students a fresh understanding of consent. Through dialogue and active participation, UT students, faculty and staff explore ways to discuss, question and encourage a safer community through consent.
If you have been impacted by interpersonal violence in any way and need support, please contact the Counseling and Mental Health Center, Title IX Office, or Student Emergency Services.
Together we can build a safer campus