Psychology Can Help

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What is rape? What is consent?

Rape is defined as sexual intercourse by force or threat of force; when a person is unconscious; when a person's ability to control his or her conduct has been compromised as a result of unknowingly ingesting drugs or intoxicants designed to prevent resistance; when the person suffers from a mental incapacity; or when the person is less than 13 years of age. Rape is a felony of the first degree.

Sexual activity should not take place unless both parties have freely given consent, and consent is understood by both parties. It is important to know that silence does not mean consent, communicate every step of the way and do not just assume the other person is comfortable with everything. Both parties should respect the other and understand that even if they don't say "no" it doesn't mean "yes". There are no gender "rules" when it comes to consent, both men and women have the right to refuse activity and take things slowly. If consent is given under duress (physical or emotional threats), then it is not given freely or willingly. If someone is impaired due to alcohol or drugs, that person is deemed incapable of consenting.