Office Of Social Equity

West Chester University

13/15 University Avenue
West Chester, PA 19383
Phone: 610-436-2433
Fax: 610-436-3164


What is Consent?

Consent is an informed decision made freely and actively by all parties. Conduct will be considered, “without consent,” if there is no clear consent, verbal or nonverbal, is given. Because sexual misconduct is defined as sexual activity that is undertaken without consent, each participant must obtain and give consent to each sexual act.

Points to Remember about Consent

  • Consent is required each and every time there is sexual activity;
  • At any and all times when consent is withdrawn or not verbally agreed upon, the sexual activity must stop immediately;
  • Consent to some levels of activity does not imply consent to all levels of sexual activity. Each new level of sexual activity requires consent;
  • The person(s) who initiate(s) a new level of sexual activity is responsible for asking for consent;
  • A current or previous dating or sexual relationship with the initiator (or anyone else) does not constitute consent;
  • Being intoxicated does not diminish one’s responsibility to obtain consent;
  • Bodily movements and non-verbal responses such as moans are not consent;
  • Silence, passivity, or lack of active resistance is not consent;
  • Intentional use of alcohol and/or drugs does not imply consent to sexual activity;
  • Seductive dancing or sexy and/or revealing clothing does not imply consent to sexual activity;
  • Anyone under the age of 16 cannot give consent;
  • Use of agreed upon forms of communication such as gestures or safe words is acceptable, but must be discussed and verbally agreed upon by all parties before sexual activity occurs.

What is Incapacitation?

Incapacitated persons cannot give consent. One who is incapacitated as a result of alcohol or other drug consumption (voluntarily or involuntarily), or who is unconscious, unaware, or otherwise helpless, is incapable of giving consent.

Example of incapacitation include:

  • unconscious;
  • sleeping;
  • frightened;
  • physically or psychologically pressured or forced;
  • intimidated;
  • threatened.

Incapacitation can also result from:

  • a psychological health condition;
  • voluntary intoxication;
  • voluntary or involuntary use of any drug, intoxicant or controlled substance.