You can see rape culture almost everywhere in the U.S., from violent tweets towards female reporters to the national conversation about campus sexual assault. It’s a cultural setting in which women's objectification is normalized into everyday behaviors and attitudes to the point of perpetuating violence against women—especially sexual violence. 

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and an essential part of eradicating sexual assault is to educate people about what consent is and isn't. NTRSCTN spoke to Bianca Laureano, an award-winning sexologist and Latina activist. She created a lesson plan for young people of color and helped us conceptualize a simple, comprehensive guide to understanding consent. 

Laureano defines consent as “direct words, behaviors, [and] actions that show a voluntary agreement to engage with others.”

She added, “Someone who is consenting is comfortable and aware of their surroundings and options. They are not being coerced or manipulated and are not debilitated by drugs or alcohol.”

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