Sexual assault is the general term for any type or method of sexual activity that occurs without consent. This could include behavior like unwanted touching or kissing, sexual contact with someone who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol and unable to give an informed "yes" or "no".
Sexual assault can happen to anyone, regardless of age, gender, race, or sexual orientation.
WHAT IS CONSENT?
Consent must be informed (this means that both individuals know what is happening) as well as mutual (this means that both parties are willingly participating in the act).
Communication is very important regarding consent. Consent is NEVER implied; talk to your partner about what is comfortable for him or her every step of the way. Pay attention to both verbal and non-verbal communication - the absence of "no" does not imply consent, nor does a prior encounter.
SIMPLE STEPS TO BEING AN ACTIVE BYSTANDER • Notice the situation: Be aware of your surroundings. • Interpret it as a problem: Do I recognize that someone needs help? • Feel responsible to act: See yourself as being part of the solution to help. • Know what to do: Educate yourself on what to do. • Intervene safely: Take action but be sure to keep yourself safe. HOW TO INTERVENE SAFELY • Tell another person. • Ask a victim if he/she is okay. • Ask the person if he/she wants to leave. • Call the police (911) • Call the SHARPP at 24/7 Support Help Line: 603-862-SAFE (7233) • Call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1.800.656.HOPE.