Consent is a clear and unambiguous agreement, expressed in mutually understandable words or actions, to engage in a particular activity. In order for sexual activity to be consensual, ALL individuals involved must want and agree to everything that takes place. Silence or no response does NOT equal YES. Consent is unimpaired – only someone who is mentally present and uninfluenced by external factors such as substances can give consent. A person may change his/her mind even after saying “yes” initially. Sexual activity after that point is a form of sexual assault. Just because you have engaged in sexual acts with the individual once before, it does not mean the answer is always an implied yes.
Respect your partner’s answer: NO MEANS NO
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Dating/partner violence is a pattern of behaviors between individuals who are or have been involved in an intimate relationship in which an individual inflicts emotional, financial, psychological, sexual and/or physical harm to his/her partner to assert power and control. Dating/partner violence is abuse within an intimate relationship regardless of marital status and does not depend on whether the couple lives together. It happens in heterosexual and same-sex relationships. Some behaviors within dating/partner violence are considered criminal.
If you or someone you know sees the warning signs in their relationship then remember you are not alone and that you have the option to seek help. You can always reach out to NOVACares by filling out the NOVACares report or by contacting NOVA Sexual Assault Services (SAS) directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-338-0834.
Below are a list of warning signs
Using physical violence such as choking, pushing or hitting
Extreme jealousy or insecurity
Checking emails, cellphones and social media without permission
Isolation from family and friends
Controlling partner’s movements or decisions and/or finances
Coercing or forcing partner to engage in unwanted or nonconsensual sexual acts
Constantly insulting or putting down partner and/or humiliating partner in public or in front of loved ones
Making false accusations
Gaining a financial foothold at NOVA can maximize your educational and career goals. Most students today don’t have the simple luxury of just attending classes and then going home to study. Many of you have jobs, families, money worries, and car problems. We want you to know there are resources and steps you can take to gain traction, earn your degree, and achieve financial stability. NOVA’s Working Students Success Network connects your educational goals to your career goals by finding income and work supports to tide you over when life gets complicated. We also link you to financial and asset building services for the long haul. Access resources like free food on campus and fresh food to take home, emergency aid for unexpected bills, financial coaching with a certified professional, free tax preparation and filing services, resources for housing, transportation, or child care, and much more.
Rachelle Thompson, MSW
Program Coordinator, Working Students Success Network
Institutional Effectiveness & Student Success Initiatives
Northern Virginia Community College
Academic Support Services
If you are a new student or have questions, a counselor will help guide you through the sometimes confusing administrative procedures and requirements. All NOVA campuses have counselors available by appointment or walk-in.
Academic advising helps you to plan a program that will meet your educational objectives. If you cannot come to campus to meet with your advisor, Online Virtual Advising is available to you.
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