Consent is an active, affirmative, conscious, direct, unimpaired and voluntary agreement to engage and continue to engage in sexual activity. It is an individual’s responsibility to make sure that they have the other person’s consent to engage in sexual activity. Simply stated, sexual activity without consent is sexual assault. "No one consents to being sexually assaulted."


  • Is never assumed or implied.
  • Is never silence or the absence of "no".
  • Can not be given if the person is impaired by alcohol or drugs, is unconscious or asleep.
  • Can never be obtained through threats or coercion.
  • Can be revoked at any time.
  • Consenting to one kind of sexual activity does not mean that consent is given for another kind of sexual activity.
  • Can not be obtained if the perpetrator abuses a position of trust, power or authority.
  • Might not be given properly if an individual has a condition that limits their verbal or physical means of interaction.

The following examples DO NOT constitute consent: 

  • "You’re not my type."
  • Absence of protest or resistance.
  • "Not now."
  • "I don’t know if I’m ready."
  • "Please stop."
  • "I don’t really know if I want to."
  • Doing nothing.
  • Silence.
  • Getting into someone’s vehicle.
  • Going inside someone’s residence.
  • Wearing particular kinds of clothing.
  • Being in a relationship with someone.
  • Having had past sexual activity with someone.

Additional Information

  • Still confused about what consent is? This consent video uses a tea drinking analogy to help you understand. Watch the Tea Consent video!
  • Learn more about consent through an online module developed by the Province of Nova Scotia.
  • Take one of our sessions for learning strategies on intervening to help prevent sexual violence. To find out when the next training takes place contact
  • Support will be given by Saint Mary's regardless of whether the Sexual Violence happened on campus, off campus, through social media or other form of electronic media.
  • See our Sexual Violence policy for more information.

It is never the survivor’s fault and it is never okay.

Contact us

Dee Dooley, Sexual Violence Advisor
409 Student Centre

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