SARC's Remarks

  • Published
  • By By Valerie Cook
  • Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office
Greetings! Hope your Valentine's Day was terrific and you got something wonderful from your special someone. In keeping with the idea of love in the air, I hope you "took to heart" my question of your definition of consent? I promised you an answer and it won't be technical. Consent is simply this:

"Consent means two people deciding together to do the same thing, at the same time, in the same way, with each other. Any sexual act that is initiated upon a person without their consent is considered sexual assault and against the law. Sexual assault can also occur when a person is incapable of giving consent by being intoxicated by drugs and/or alcohol."

Consent means getting that "yes" in words and actions. "Want to go further? Are you OK with this?" Make sure it's ok with them.

That's it. In other words, if at any time, you hear the word "no," stop. Think. It's not worth losing a friend, your reputation, or even your career.

I thought you'd feel cheated if I didn't give you just one statistic. Did you know that 77 percent of completed rapes are committed by non-strangers, according to the 1997 Bureau of Justice Statistics? That means it's even more important to be a great Wingman and an active bystander.

Next month's column will feature ways of preventing yourself from becoming a victim of sexual assault.

Feel free to e-mail me your thoughts at