What is consent?
Consent is when a legally or functionally competent person communicates via verbal speech or through explicit actions (ex. Sign language, physical gestures) they give informed approval. Consent indicates a freely given agreement to have sexual intercourse or sexual contact.
What is NOT consent?
Individuals who cannot give consent to have sexual contact and intercourse fall into the following designations (Note: This information is based on Wisconsin law):
- Children and youth under the age of 18 or age 16
- Individuals with cognitive or developmental disabilities
- Individuals under a certain level of intoxicants
- Individuals who are unconscious or asleep
Consent is part of all healthy relationships. It should not be a taboo or scary concept. Teaching children about consent helps prevent unwanted or unsafe contact, like sexual assault. Children as young as 2-years old can be taught and practice consent through everyday interactions such as:
- Asking the child for a hug and respecting when they say no
- Allowing the child to choose for him/her/their self to hug family members or close friends
- Encouraging them to ask for permission when engaging in physical contact with other children or adults
- Teaching children the appropriate names for body parts, including which body parts are private (body parts covered by our swimsuits or underwear)