What is informed consent?
It is important to consider how an individual’s state of mind might influence their ability to make decisions. This consideration is especially critical to assess in sexual situations. The following information can help you identify what factors are key in understanding consent:
Informed consent requires that all parties are:
- Awake and aware.
- Capable of making a clear and conscious decision to say “yes” or “no.”
- I.e. all individuals are in control of their mental faculties. For instance, one should be certain sleep, faintness, substances or stupor are not dulling their senses.
- Free from doubt that their partner is willingly consenting.
- Feel safe and comfortable that they may change their mind or say “no” at any time.
If any of these factors are in question, sexual activities should come to a halt.
When an individual consumes alcohol or drugs in a relatively short amount of time, they are not capable of giving consent per Missouri’s criminal code.
A person is lawfully INCAPABLE of giving consent if:
- The individual is under an intoxicant such as drugs or alcohol above the legal limit.
- They are under the age of 17 (in the state of Missouri).
For more information about consent, click here.
- Individuals should never assume consent. Both parties must state it explicitly.
- A person who is pressured into saying “yes” has not given informed consent.
- Always be confident in your choice, and remember is always okay to say “no” at any time.
- Don’t be afraid to speak up if you think you see someone trying to take advantage of a person who is unable to give consent.