The laws surrounding consent may vary state by state, but you don’t need to be a legal expert to understand how consent plays out in everyday life.

“May I hug you?” “May I take your photo?” “Can I post this picture online?”

These are all simple, every day ways to normalize asking for consent, especially but not limited to building a healthy foundation for youngsters to understand the concept of consent well before it becomes an issue.

Consent is an agreement between participants to mutually engage in an activity. Consent doesn’t have to involve sex necessarily, and it doesn’t have to be verbal, but verbally agreeing to different activities can help both you and your partner respect each other’s boundaries.

Some may argue, “but that takes the romance out of it?” or “Why do we live in a day and age where everyone is so offended? Shouldn’t they take it as a compliment?”

The short answer to all of that is “no,” but we can humor some of these points for the sake of this letter. Does it really take the romance out of a situation to ensure that someone mutually wants our affection? Or do we think it would more likely take the romance out of the situation afterwards when we find out our actions have caused harm to someone?

Similarly, do we really believe no one was offended by these slights prior to the modern day? Or were those people just unable to speak up due to an imbalance of power, knowledge, and resources?

When you’re engaging in sexual activity, consent is about communication. And it should happen every time.

If you’ve experienced sexual assault, you’re not alone. To speak with a trained advocate for free and confidential assistance, call the local 24-hour crisis line at 1-800-270-1620 – or for more information about services in our area – visit or call 641-673-0336.

Hailey Brown

Crisis Intervention Services

When you receive a phone call requesting financial help from a scammer saying they are your grandchild and they need immediate cash to stay out of trouble, ask them for their first name. they will say, “Don’t you recognize my voice, Grandma?” Again, repeat “What is your first name? I have more than one grandchild.”

If they don’t hang up, tell them to call their mom and dad for help.

Alice Kool


Recommended for you