Understanding how UConn defines the specific terms of sexual assault is an important step for all members of UConn’s community.
Consent is an understandable exchange of affirmative words or actions, which indicate a willingness to participate in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. Consent must be informed, freely and actively given. It is the responsibility of the initiator to obtain clear and affirmative responses at each stage of sexual involvement.
Consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity. The lack of a negative response is not consent. An individual who is incapacitated by alcohol and/or other drugs both voluntarily or involuntarily consumed may not give consent. Past consent of sexual activity does not imply ongoing future consent.
If any of the following are present, consent cannot be given:
Incapacitation is a state where someone cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because s/he lacks the capacity to give knowing consent (e.g. to understand the “who, what, when, where, why, or how” of their sexual interaction).
- Sexual activity with someone who one should know to be, or based on circumstances should reasonably have known to be, mentally or physically incapacitated (by alcohol or drug use, unconsciousness or blackout), constitutes a violation of The Student Code.
- A person whose incapacity results from mental disability, sleep, involuntary physical restraint, or from the consumption of rape drugs cannot give consent.
- Alcohol related incapacity results from a level of alcohol ingestion that is more severe than impairment, being under the influence, drunkenness or intoxication. Evidence of incapacity may be detected from context clues, such as:
- Slurred speech
- Bloodshot eyes
- The smell of alcohol on their breath
- Shaky equilibrium
- Unusual behavior
- Context clues are important in helping to determine incapacitation. These signs alone do not necessarily indicate incapacitation.
Force is the use of physical violence and/or imposing on someone physically to gain sexual access. Force also includes threats, intimidation (implied threats) and/or coercion that overcome resistance.
Coercion is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity. Coercion is the use of emotional manipulation to persuade someone to do something they may not want to do such as being sexual or performing certain sexual acts. Being coerced into having sex or performing sexual acts is not consenting to having sex and is considered sexual misconduct.