If you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault, contact The Office for Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance to speak with a confidential advocate. Advocates are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 848-932-1181.

Any non-consensual sexual activity is prohibited by this Policy. Consensual sexual activity requires clear and unambiguous communication and mutual agreement for the act in which the participants are involved. Consent will be assessed objectively from the standpoint of a reasonable person. In understanding the meaning of consent, the following principles apply:

  • A sexual interaction is considered consensual when individuals willingly and knowingly engage in the interaction.
  • Someone who is incapacitated cannot consent. A person is incapacitated when the person cannot make a rational, reasonable decision because the person lacks the ability to understand his or her decision. A person can become incapacitated as a result of, among other things, disability, physical or mental impairment, involuntary physical constraint, sleep, unconsciousness, or consumption of alcohol or other drugs.
  • According to New Jersey law, an individual who is physically or mentally impaired may not be able to give consent to sexual activity. Physical or mental impairment may include: visual, speech or hearing impairment, cognitive impairment; being unconscious or asleep; or being under the influence of alcohol or other substance(s) to the point of being unable to make a decision.
  • Consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity. Previous relationships or previous consent for sexual activity is not consent to sexual activity on a different occasion. (For example, consent to certain acts at one point in an evening does not mean consent to the same acts later in the same evening.)
  • Consent to engage in sexual activity with one person does not imply consent to engage in sexual activity with another.
  • Silence or the absence of resistance is not the same as consent.
  • Consent can be withdrawn at any time.
  • The use of alcohol or drugs does not justify or excuse behavior that violates this Policy and never makes someone at fault for being the victim of a violation of this Policy.
  • Age: In New Jersey, a person must be 16 years of age to legally consent to sexual activity. A person cannot give consent to sexual activity with someone who has “the duty to care” for them unless they are over the age of 18. Individuals that fall into “the duty to care” category would include parents or guardians, and those in any type of formal supervisory role. If individuals are between the ages of 13 and 15 they can legally consent to sexual activity with a partner who is not more than 4 years older.
  • Coercion and Force
    • Consent cannot be procured by the use of physical force, compulsion, threats, intimidating behavior, or coercion. Sexual activity accompanied by coercion or force is not consensual.
    • Coercion refers to unreasonable pressure for sexual activity.  When someone makes it clear that he or she does not want to engage in sexual activity or does not want to go beyond a certain point of sexual interaction, continued pressure beyond that point can be considered coercive. The use of coercion can involve the use of pressure, manipulation, substances, and/or force. Ignoring objections of another person is a form of coercion.
    • Force refers to the use of physical violence and/or imposing on someone physically to engage in sexual contact or intercourse.  Force can also include threats, intimidation (implied threats), or coercion used to overcome resistance.