Gender-Based Violence

We get consent.

What is consent?

It's hard to find just one way to define consent, but it involves permission that is not hesitant or coerced from someone. It should always be enthusiastic! Consent should be a scenario with a partner or partners where there is constant communication about boundaries and pleasure. It can sound like "do you want to try..." or "do you like that?" or "can I do this?" and responses should be freely given before anything progresses further

What can I do to take care of myself and other Bearcats?

Situations involving gender-based violence (GBV) are often incredibly complex. Beyond normalizing discussions about consent and making the act of asking for consent a habit, it is important to check in with yourself, your friends, and your partners to ensure that no other forms of GBV are occurring. Discussing healthy relationships practices are crucial. Healthy relationships involve constant communication to your partner about your wants and needs, and in turn actively listening to their wants and needs and figuring out how to best address them. Sometimes relationships are interpreted differently by each party, so discussing your perspective is always important. 

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Consent is both complex and simple, hard to define, but easy to see when not given. It is a good idea to have discussions about consent with your partner(s) and friends. Normalizing the discussion about consensual sex and normalizing asking for consent can help make the practice an easy habit.

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Stalking is not just what you see in movies where someone is hiding in the bushes to watch you. Stalking is any repeated and unwanted contact. This can range from a partner demanding to know your location at all times to someone who won't quit messaging you on Instagram. If you or someone you know might be experiencing this it's important to tell someone about it whether that's the police, a counselor, or OGEI. Tell someone who can help! 

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Relationship abuse can be mental, emotional, verbal, financial, or physical. These can all look different in different relationships, but if one of your friends is acting different or discloses abuse one of the most important things you can do for them is listen and believe them. Let them direct how they want this to happen: if they need your help finding resources, help them find some, if they want to do nothing, be a listening ear who supports them unconditionally. Services such as CAPS, Women Helping Women, and OGEI exist and will all be there to help!

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