Sexual Assault Prevention and Response
Adapted from Reed College, Swarthmore College, and Oberlin College
If you are looking for resources or believe you or someone you know has been involved in an act of sexual misconduct or sexual assault, please scroll to the bottom of the page or click here for the more information.
Sexual misconduct prevention is a community responsibility. MICA's goal is to provide ongoing programming and training each year to create a healthy, safe, and supportive community. MICA offers programs and education about healthy relationships, consent, supporting friends, and bystander intervention.
Obtaining consent of all sexual partners is crucial in order to prevent sexualized misconduct. As a community, we all have the responsibility to respect one another in intimate settings, including those of a sexual nature. We encourage you to read this information, but especially to discuss it with your peers and other members of the community. Consent is most effective when it is understood as an ongoing practice, including the efforts we take outside of intimate situations to educate ourselves. Please visit our policy here for more information about discrimination, harassment, and sexual misconduct.
Consent to some sexual contact (such as kissing or fondling) cannot be presumed to be consent for other sexual activity (such as intercourse). A current or previous relationship is not sufficient to constitute consent. A person can withdraw consent at any time during sexual activity by expressing in words or actions that they no longer wants the act to continue, and, if that happens, the other person must stop immediately.
It is the responsibility of the person who wants to engage in a specific sexual activity to ensure that effective consent is obtained for each sexual act and over the entire course of the sexual activity. It is not an excuse that the individual responding party of sexual misconduct was intoxicated and, therefore, did not realize the incapacity of the other. Incapacitation is defined as a state in which someone cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because the individual lacks the capacity to give knowing consent (e.g., to understand the "who, what, when, where, why or how" of their sexual interaction). A person is responsible for their behavior while they are intoxicated. An intoxicated person cannot give consent to the behavior of another individual, however, an intoxicated person is responsible for their own actions.
Understanding Consent Terminology
Effective consent is informed, freely and actively given by mutually understandable words or actions that indicate a willingness to engage in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. Consent is knowing, voluntary, and clear permission. Since individuals may experience the same interaction in different ways it is the responsibility of the pursuing party (the individual who wants to engage in sexual activity) to ensure the other has consented before engaging in the activity After effective consent has been established, a person who changes their mind during the sexual activity should communicate by using words or clear action that it is their decision to no longer proceed with the activity. A verbal "no" even if it may sound indecisive or insincere should be treated as a withdrawal of consent.
MICA encourages the utilization of affirmative consent. Affirmative consent states that the person who initiates sexual contact must receive a verbal yes (affirmative consent) from the other person before engaging in any sexual activity and that consent must be ongoing throughout the sexual encounter.
Affirmative consent makes it clear that it is the responsibility of the person who initiates sexual contact to make sure they have the verbal consent of the other person,rather than assuming that the answer is "yes" until someone says "no." Affirmative consent reduces ambiguity in sexual situations, by making it clear that the initiator of sexual contact must receive a "verbal yes" from the other person. While MICA does not have an affirmative consent policy, this is the best way to ensure a consensual sexual encounter between partners.
Resources and Help
If you believe you or someone else has been involved in an incident of sexual misconduct or sexual violence please utilize this resource guide. The information can also be found below.
Additionally, the policy can also be found at mica.edu/equal_opportunity.
MICA seeks to provide a safe environment for our community. Our goal is to ensure that all cases of sexual misconduct and gender-based violence are handled appropriately. More importantly, we want community members to feel safe and supported. Please use this guide as a starting point.
Last updated on June 16, 2015