What is Consent?
With the recent allegations against two former Ohio State University football players, the issue of consent on college campuses is garnering national attention and raising concerns about sexual assault.
For those who find themselves in consensual encounters, the situation becomes a problem when they ask their partner to stop, and the situation escalates instead. According to a study by the Association of American Universities, this issue is especially prevalent on college campuses, where there are twice as many sexual assaults compared to other crimes, like robberies.
Emily Gemar, campus advocacy coordinator for the OhioHealth Sexual Assault Response Network of Central Ohio (SARNCO), says educating people about consent can help bring these numbers down.
"It’s important for people, regardless of their gender, to know about consent because people of all genders have sexual relations,” Gemar told 10TV reporter Brittany Bailey. “It’s important to know how to respect your partner and how to be a good partner in a healthy relationship.”
She points out that sexual misconduct occurs at a higher rate at certain times of the year. This period is known as the “red zone,” and typically happens around the first six to eight weeks a student first arrives on campus.
"There are a lot of social settings on campus that involve alcohol and drug use,” Gemar said. “Also, folks are away from home for the first time, they’re learning about what consent is, they’re learning about what healthy boundaries are in relationships, and a lot of times in our society, we don’t get a lot of education around those topics before we leave home.”
It’s also important to remember that consent is a continuum and can be withdrawn at any moment, no matter the circumstances.
To learn more about SARNCO and the work they’re doing to provide advocacy and support services for issues like these, click here.
To read the full story by 10TV, click on their logo below. ABC6, NBC4 and The Columbus Dispatch also covered the topic of consent. Their stories may also be viewed by clicking on their logos below.