The role of consent is very important for intimate encounters between two individuals. Both people have to be consensually engaged in the activity. If one person is not, it could lead to allegations of sexual assault or even rape because things happened that were against their will.
As such, people need to be aware that they should get consent prior to any such activity. This consent can be given both verbally and non-verbally.
Consent does not last forever
But a key clarification is that consent can be withdrawn and it does not last forever after it is given.
For example, someone may feel comfortable beginning an encounter and then change their mind. If they inform their partner that they want to be done, and the other person continues, the act may then become sexual assault – even though they were both willing participants just a few minutes before.
Additionally, consent being given for one sexual encounter does not indicate consent for future encounters. It needs to be given every time. Someone should not assume that they have consent for any certain activity with another individual just because they may have had it in the past. If they act on this assumption, they could be accused of criminal activity when they didn’t even realize that what they were doing was violating the other person’s rights.
In other words, consent is much more complicated and nuanced than people often assume, and this can lead to complex legal situations. Those who are facing accusations of criminal activity must know what defense options they have at their disposal.