In criminal law, the issue of consent is central in determining whether or not an activity is considered sexual assault. If a person is unable to give consent, or if consent is not freely and willingly given, then the activity is considered non-consensual and may be considered sexual assault.

Consent refers to the voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity, and it is critical for all parties involved to understand and respect.

When it comes to determining consent in any sexual assault cases, the law considers several factors. First and foremost, it is essential to determine whether or not the person was able to give consent. A person may be unable to give consent due to incapacitation, such as being unconscious or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In these cases, it is clear that consent was not given, and the activity would be considered non-consensual.

Additionally, the law considers whether or not consent was freely and willingly given. If a person is coerced or forced into giving consent, then it is not considered valid. This means that consent cannot be obtained through manipulation, threats, or intimidation. Schmidt & Clark has more information about how the law can help you in line with this certain matter.

It is also essential to have a better understanding that consent must be ongoing and active. Past consent does not imply future consent, and consent can be withdrawn at any time. It is the responsibility of all parties to ensure that they have ongoing and active consent before engaging in any sexual activity.

It is crucial for all individuals to understand and respect the concept of consent in sexual assault cases. By communicating openly and honestly about boundaries and obtaining active and ongoing consent, we can help to prevent sexual assault and promote healthy and consensual sexual relationships.

To heighten this discussion, sexual assaults do not solely happen to adults because there had been many cases of it as well on younger children - which has been a paramount social concern. Likewise, many caretakers fear and worry about this kind of attack whenever their youngsters are not within their scope. Child protective services, law enforcement, and legislatures have worked tremendously to lessen, and to totally diminish such crimes. 

According to the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), they have estimated that there were abruptly 197,000 incidents of forcible rape and 110,000 incidents of other sexual assault in the United States in 1996 - wherein this also involves victims of ages 12 or above. Moreover, the victims have stated that a third of these sexual assaults were even reported to law enforcement agencies. Nonetheless, the Uniform Crime Reporting Program (UCR) have evaluated that there were 96,000 forcible rapes alone, reported to law enforcement agencies. If this already had happened before, we cannot determine if it is safe thus far; hence, it speaks volume to consider talking about this topic and have a better understanding.

NIBRS have defined forcible sex offenses as any sexual act directed against another person, forcibly and/or against that person’s will. This also applies to not forcibly or against the person’s will whereby the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his or her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.

Basing on the data that NIBRS have given, crimes against juvenile victims are the large majority of sexual assaults handled by law enforcement agencies. Thus, it is dire to have a adequate apprehension about consent in any sexual activity.