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Protecting yourself against sexual assault accusations

The discussion concerning consent and sex has seen a dramatic shift in the past few years. It's important to know what constitutes consent in today's world. One study estimates that about one-third of college men do not know what constitutes rape. In fact, in a 2015 article published in "JAMA Pediatrics," 10.8 percent of college men had committed rape in either high school or college based on the Federal Bureau of Investigation definition of the crime.

How the FBI categorizes rape

The FBI defines rape as "penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim." Many times, it is consent that is the debated part of the crime. Consent can't be given by someone who is underage or intoxicated, and it must be willingly given. To protect yourself against allegations of rape, consider using an app that indicates you received consent before you have sexual relations.

Sexual consent apps

There are many different apps available in Google Play and the Apple Store:

  • We-Consent
  • YES to SEX
  • SaSie

Using one of these apps lets you open the discussion and clearly communicate your expectations with your partner. It can also create a pre-sex agreement that protects you later on. However, you should remember that no means no. Even if your partner agrees to sex, he or she can still change his or her mind at any time during the intercourse.

The problem with sexual consent apps

Sexual consent apps are a good start in the discussion between two people considering becoming intimate, but consent isn't a one-time thing. It's the discussion you have in the course of a relationship that brings two people closer together by talking about what they want out of a relationship.

Sexual consent apps also have the potential to kill the mood. Who wants to read a barrage of legalese when in the middle of an intimate moment? It's probable that someone might just click "yes" to get to the end, much like people do when they download software. Legally, there might still be some gray areas when counting on social media apps.

Use sexual consent apps carefully. Always talk to your partner about consent before moving forward in a relationship or sexual relations. Should you be charged with a sexual assault crime, speak to an experienced attorney to make sure your rights are protected. Don't try to talk your way out of the crime until you've spoken to an experienced legal advocate who wants the best possible outcome for you.

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