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Consent represents the basis of respectful and healthy intimate relationships.  Consent is effective when it is clear, knowing, and voluntary by using mutually understandable words or actions that give permission for specific sexual activity or contact. Reasonable reciprocation can be implied. Consent cannot be gained by force, by ignoring or acting in spite of the objections of another, or by taking advantage of the incapacitation of another, where the accused individual knows or reasonably should have known of such incapacitation. Incapacitation is determined through consideration of all relevant indicators of an individual’s state and is not synonymous with intoxication, impairment, blackout, and/or being drunk. There should not be unreasonable pressure for sexual activity, which is coercive conduct.  Passivity is not permission; consent is not the absence of resistance, and silence, in and of itself, cannot be interpreted as consent. Consent to one form of sexual contact or activity does not imply consent to another form of sexual activity. Consent also has time boundaries; consent given at one time does not imply future consent or consent at any other time. The existence of a prior or current relationship does not, in itself, constitute consent. Consent can be withdrawn once given, as long as the withdrawal is reasonably and clearly communicated.  Once consent is withdrawn, sexual activity must stop immediately. 

Proof of consent or non-consent is not a burden placed on either party involved in an incident. Instead, the burden remains on Gallaudet or the Clerc Center to determine whether its policy has been violated. The existence of consent is based on the totality of the circumstances evaluated from the perspective of a reasonable person in the same or similar circumstances, including the context in which the alleged incident occurred and any similar, previous patterns that may be evidenced.

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