Consent and Sexual Violence

Student Health Center : Texas State University

Anyone can experience sexual violence — no matter their gender, sexual orientation, or age. Sexual violence doesn’t happen in one single way. Most sexual assaults happen by someone the victim knows or even a romantic partner.

Check out these drop down options to learn more about consent and options when it comes to sexual violence.


Saying yes to sexual activity. Agreeing to one type of sexual activity doesn’t mean that a person is agreeing to other sex acts. Everyone has the right to decide what they want and to change their mind at any point.

    • Just because someone consents to one sexual act (e.g., kissing), that doesn’t mean that they’re okay with another.
    • You always have the right to change your mind at any point, and your partner should respect this.

    Sexual Consent doesn’t have to kill the mood! If you’re wondering how to go about checking in and making sure that you have your partner’s consent before you have sex, you could say:

    • Is this okay?
    • Is there anything you’d like me to do differently?
    • Are you still into this?
    • Do you want to keep going?
    • “Can I [fill in the blank]?” or “Do you want me to do [fill in the blank]?” and listen for the answer.
    • Talking openly about what you both want and setting boundaries is important in any relationship, regardless of whether it’s casual or long term.
    • Consenting under the influence is a tricky subject. It’s unrealistic (and not legally accurate) to say consent isn’t possible if the parties have been drinking. Plenty of people drink and remain coherent enough to consent.
    • However, studies show a direct relationship between excessive alcohol consumption and the risk for committing sexual assault. Approximately one half of sexual assaults involve alcohol consumption by the perpetrator, the person who’s been assaulted, or both.
    • Sexual assault, even if it involves alcohol consumption, is never the victim’s fault. If you and others are under the influence, you should understand the risks when assessing whether you have consent to engage in sexual activity.
    • If either party is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it’s even more important to communicate your own boundaries and be extra sensitive to your partner’s boundaries.

    Here are some good guidelines to follow:

    • If you’re initiating sexual activity, you’re responsible for obtaining consent. In the case that either person is under the influence, the definition of consent — clear, ongoing, coherent, and voluntary — is just as important as ever.

      If someone is stumbling or can’t stand without leaning on something, slurring their words, falling asleep, or has vomited, they’re incapacitated and cannot consent.

  • If you’ve been raped or assaulted, you don’t have to go through this alone.


    • It’s not your fault. You may be feeling a range of emotions, but whatever you feel, know that what happened wasn’t your fault. It was 100% their fault. Don’t blame yourself for anything you did or didn’t do.
    • Find support. Dealing with the aftermath of rape or sexual assault can be overwhelming. But you’re not alone. It may help to talk to a trusted friend, family member, or counselor.
    • HCWC crisis hotline can help you figure out your options: 512.396.4357
    • If you have injuries, or want to have a rape kit done to collect evidence in case you decide to file charges someday, you should go to the hospital right away. Try to not eat, smoke, drink, go to the restroom, brush your teeth or shower. You can still get a rape kit done if you have done any or all of these things.
    • If you’re worried about having been exposed to HIV, you can take a medicine called PEP (Post-Exposure Prophylaxis)
    • If you’re worried about an STI, it’s a good idea to get tested. Most people don’t show any symptoms, so even if you don’t have any signs of an STI, testing is important. Student Health Center 512.245.2161
    • If there’s a chance you could be pregnant, emergency contraception is available for you. Student Health Center Pharmacy 512.245.3590
  • Confidential Campus/Community Support

    Counseling Center: 512.245.2208

    Student Health Center: 512.245.2161

    Attorney for Students: 512.235.2370

    Hays-Caldwell Women's Center (Community Support): 512.396.4357

    Reporting On Campus

    Title IX - Office of Equity and Inclusion (Academic Reporting): 512.245.2539

    University Police Department (Criminal Reporting): 512.245.2805. If you are in immediate danger or fear for your safety, call 911.

    Visit our Sexual Assault Resources webpage for more information on resources available to you.

Red Zone:

The "red zone" refers to a six-week period of time between arrival on campus in August and Thanksgiving break in November during which, according to research, perpetrators are most likely to sexually assault students. More than 50% of campus sexual assaults happen during this period of time, mostly between midnight and 6am on Saturday and Sunday mornings, according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN). Most campus sexual assault does not take the form of a stranger. According to the Department of Justice, for 90% of victims of sexual assault, the perpetrator is a friend or an acquaintance. Further, research indicates that alcohol typically has been consumed by the perpetrator, the victim, the perpetrator, or both.

  • We can take steps together to be a RESPONSIVE bystander.

    1. Notice something is happening-you are not a bystander unless you notice that something is happening. 
    2. Correctly interpret the situation-don’t get hung up on this step.  This is when we see something and think “maybe I don’t know the whole situation” or “maybe they know each other.”  If something makes you uncomfortable, it most likely is making others uncomfortable too.  
    3. Assume responsibility-This is an important step.  We often think somebody else will do something or other people will intervene.  If we all think this way then nobody will do anything.  It is important to assume responsibility when you see something. 
    4. Decide what to do-there are many ways you can intervene.  You can always create a distraction: spill a drink on someone, ask if their car is being towed, ask someone where the bathroom is or to go outside with you.  You can also get friends together to go say something with you.  You could find the host of the party, or a friend of someone that is involved in the situation.  If you ever feel like your safety is threatened then you could always call the police. 
    5. Taking action - Intervene by confronting, distracting, enforce others to help, start a conversation, check in with the victim.
      1. Taking Action: In the moment
        • Interrupt the behavior
        • Use body language to show disapproval
        • Publicly support aggrieved person/potential victim
        • Use humor
        • Use a distraction
        • Call 911
        • Ask others for help
      2. Taking Action: In the moment
        • Talk privately with person 
        • Talk with a professor, advisor, coach, etc. 
        • Report the incident
        • Privately support potential victim/aggrieved person
  • Learn more about consent and alcohol bystander intervention through scheduling our presentations.

    The Bystander Intervention presentation will help students gain the skills and confidence to speak up and help reduce the potential for alcohol related injuries or violence.

    The Yes Means Yes: Getting Consent presentation is an interactive discussion based program that reviews acquaintance rape scenarios and emphasizes the importance of explicit verbal consent in sexual relationships.

    Learn more about our presentations on our request a presentation webpage today.



Students have the right to learn and live at Texas State free from sexual harassment, sexual assault and dating violence.

Visit our Sexual Assault Resources webpage for more information on resources available to you.