A couple (man and woman) smiling.

Always seek consent.

Consent is a mutually agreed upon decision to participate in specific acts.

Engaging in any type of sexual activity without the explicit consent of your partner is a violation of the Georgia Tech Sexual Misconduct Policy which addresses nonconsensual sexual contact, sexual harassment, stalking, intimate partner violence, dating violence, and retaliation.


Have you experienced sexual violence or have questions related to victim-survivor support, referrals, accommodations, and reporting options and need to speak to a VOICE Advocate?

For confidential support contact us at 404.894.9000 24 hours per day.

Appointments are available for individuals affiliated with Georgia Tech.  

3 Components of Consent

  • Context: Each person gives consent freely, without the presence of coercion or intimidation.
  • Actual consent: Verbally saying yes, or other affirmative statement that indicates a willingness to engage in the mutually agreed upon sexual activity. Consent is the presence of YES, not the absence of no.
  • Responsibility: The responsibility for obtaining consent lies with the person initiating the particular sexual activity.
Illustration of a cup of potato fries with the words/phrases: Freely Given, Informed, Reversable, Specific, and Enthusiastic on each fry. GT Buzz is in front of the cup.


A helpful mnemonic to remember the various components of consent is:

  • F- Freely given: Consent is a decision people have the right to make free of coercion, pressure, or intimidation, or manipulation. This also means that if someone is asleep or incapacitated due to drugs or alcohol, they cannot consent.
  • R-Reversible: You can change your mind at any point before or during the sexual encounter if you no longer want to participate. Everyone involved must immediately respect a person’s decision.  
  • I-Informed: All information necessary for a person to fully understand what they are about to get involved in needs to be shared prior to sexual engagement.  
  • E- Enthusiastic: Pay attention to the verbal and non-verbal cues of everyone involved and make sure everyone is not just okay with what is going on but actively enjoying it.  
  • S- Specific:  Consent for some forms of sexual engagement is not a full blanket of consent for all sexual activities. Each activity requires specific, communicated consent.  

Clarifying the Rules for Consent

The person responsible for obtaining consent can change throughout the course of the night. The person initiating kissing must get consent for kissing, but if the other person initiates oral sex, then they must obtain consent.

Consent cannot be given or received when impaired, which is defined as an individual’s inability to understand the situation or understand the consequences of their decision. Impairment can include:

  • Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs    
  • Having a cognitive impairment    
  • Being under the age of consent, which is 16 in Georgia

Just because you are in a relationship with a person and have had sex with them previously does not guarantee consent for all sexual activities. Even if you have had sex with the person before, you must get consent each time with each sexual activity. Consent can be withdrawn at any point without explanation.

Intimidation occurs when someone uses their physical presence to instill fear in another, although no physical contact occurs; intimidation can also occur where one’s knowledge of prior violent behavior by an assailant (coupled with menacing behavior) places this person in fear as an implied threat.

Coercion is the use of force or intimidation (i.e. threats) to obtain consent for an otherwise unwanted act. Coercion can also include the repetition of the activity beyond what is reasonable, the degree of pressure applied, or environmental factors such as isolation or the initiator’s knowledge of impairment by alcohol and/or other drugs.