Consent and Sexual Assault

  • Consent

    There are two aspects to consent:

    • one is a personal conversation between you and the person you are going to engage in sexual activities with.
    • the other is if the sexual activity is legal.

    Consent is discussing with your partner what you want and like and what you don’t want. This occurs at every step of a sexual encounter, from kissing to sex. Simply put this means "NO MEANS NO" and that you must ask for a verbal yes for what is okay in a sexual situation. Consent has to occur every time, every step of the way, even if you had said yes to the sexual activity before. If consent is not received the encounter can be seen as sexual assault.

    Note the Alcohol & Drugs section of this site- if drugs or alcohol are involved, you are unable to fully consent to sexual activity.

    Age of Consent

    The age of consent is the age at which legally you can agree to have sex with someone. This age varies from state to state. The age of consent in New York is 17.

    Does this mean you cannot have sex with an older person if you are under 17? No, not necessarily. The law states that if the older person is less than four years older than the minor, sex is legal. There are exceptions to this rule, however, that can be read about below. If these laws are broken, it can be considered statutory rape. Complicated right!? However, it is important to know these laws in order to ensure any sex you might engage in is legal. If it is not, the older individual can go to jail.

    For more information: New York Age of Consent –Legal Match

    You can read this basic information on what the age of consent is and what it means here: What is the Age of Consent to Sexual Intercourse? -AVERT

  • Sexual Assault

    Have you experienced sexual assault? This means any activity that was not consensual, was unwanted and forceful, manipulated, or illegal due to age, disability, or being drunk or high. Both males and females can be sexually assaulted and most often, people are sexually assaulted by people they know, not strangers. Read more about what sexual assault is and how to cope, and what you might want your next steps to be.

    How to speak with a friend who told you they were sexually assaulted.

    In cases of sexual assault, you can choose to press charges. If you have been sexually assaulted and need support or guidance on what to do next, consider resources in the area:

    Center for Safety and Change

    • 9 Johnstons Lane Main Walk-in Center New City, NY. 845-634-3391
    • 89 Hudson Avenue Haverstraw, NY. 845-304-9346
    • Counseling, advocacy, court assistant, support groups for victims of dating violence and abuse.
    • Rape crisis counseling, advocacy, accompaniment services to police, court and hospital
    • S.A.F.E (Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner Program) allows specially trained hospital nurses to assist in forensic examination and evidence collection.
    • 24/7 hotline- (845) 634-3344
    • Support also in French, Creole, Hebrew, Yiddish, Spanish, Hindi, & Urdu

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