Coming into college, I didn't think that sexual assault really happened - especially at a place like Wake. In fact, I heard so little about it before I went away to school that I didn't even know what consent really meant other than saying "yes" or "no." While attending one of the mandatory sexual assault prevention seminars before my first semester at Wake began, we were shown a video that will stick with me forever: Consent - it's simple as tea.
1. Consent cannot be forced or coerced.
"Just because you made them a cup of tea doesn't mean that you're entitled to watch them drink it."
You can't pour tea down someone's throat like you can't force sex upon someone who doesn't want it. You can't make someone feel bad about not wanting tea, or sex, just because you prepared it for them. It's simple - if someone doesn't want it, then don't give it to them.
2. Consent can be withdrawn.
"They might say 'Yes, please! That's kind of you.' and when the tea arrives, they actually don't want the tea at all."
We've all had those moments where we make a cup of tea, a meal, whatever, and change our minds. Suddenly, that green tea looks a little bit less appetizing or you decide you would really rather have mac and cheese instead of that salad, and that's okay. Just because you make somebody a cup of tea who wanted it earlier, doesn't mean that they have to drink it. Similarly, if somebody wanted to have sex and changes their mind, you are not entitled to it and they are not obligated to perform that act.
3. There are times when people cannot consent.
"Unconscious people don't want tea."
If somebody is unconscious, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or coerced, they cannot give consent. If somebody consents prior to any of those mentioned, then falls asleep or under the influence, they cannot consent. "You should just put the tea down."
4. Consent must be given each and every time.
"If someone said yes to tea around your house last Saturday, that doesn't mean they want you to make them tea all the time."
Just because somebody consents at one time does not mean that they consent to any future sexual encounters.