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'Get involved': a message about sexual consent to bystanders on college campuses

Sexual violence is a major issue in our community that needs to be addressed. In conjunction with Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Radio Milwaukee will be sharing Community Stories with experts in this complex field. We want to let you know up front that this story covers the difficult topic of sexual violence.

Perhaps one of the most important messages to communicate during Sexual Assault Awareness Month is the importance of consent. Consent, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, is an unambiguous "yes" or "no," both in the moment, and on an ongoing basis.

"Consent means granting permission for something to happen or agreeing to do something. When sex is consensual, it means everyone involved has agreed to what they are doing and has given their permission. Nonconsensual sex, or sex without someone’s agreement or permission,
is sexual assault."

That clear-cut standard applies to all situations, even when drugs or alcohol are involved. Thus, when one or more parties are intoxicated, "clear consent is not possible." NSVRC also points out the absence of a "no" does not mean "yes."

These seemingly simple facts are often twisted and, especially when intoxicants are involved, can lead to unwanted or forced sexual activity. In a city like Milwaukee, where college campuses abound, it's even more important to understand how consent must be granted for every sexual encounter.

Radio Milwaukee Program Director Dori Zori discusses consent and the charge for bystanders to "get involved" on college campuses with TeamTeal365 founder Samantha Collier in this segment. Listen below and share.