According to the South Dakota Department of Health, sexually transmitted diseases are the most commonly reported infectious diseases in South Dakota. Gonorrhea has increased five-fold over the past decade, Chlamydia has doubled since 2003, and Syphilis has increased 10-fold from 10 years ago.
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases Rising in South Dakota
- Infectious Disease Surveillance - SD Dept. of Health
- STD Control - SD Dept. of Health
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) - Symptoms and Causes
Codified Law 22-22-7 | South Dakota Legislature - SDLegislature.gov
Sexual Consent is defined as an agreement between participants to engage in sexual activity through affirmative, voluntary words or actions that are mutually understandable to all parties involved, to engage win a specific sexual act at a specific time. It means actively agreeing to be sexual with someone and lets them know that sex is wanted. Sexual activity without consent is rape or sexual assault.
Consent should be clearly and freely communicated. A verbal and affirmative expression of consent can help both you and your partner to understand and respect each other’s boundaries.
All sexual activity must stop when consent is withdrawn. Being in a relationship doesn’t oblige anyone to do anything. Consent should never be implied or assumed, even if you’re in a relationship or have had sex before. Consent can be withdrawn at any time, as long as it is clearly communicated.
- Consent is about Communication and Respect.
- Consent cannot be coerced or compelled by force, threat, deception or intimidation.
- Consent cannot be given by someone who is incapacitated, as defined below.
- Consent cannot be assumed based on silence, the absence of “no” or “stop,” the existence of a prior or current relationship, or prior sexual activity.
What it means to be Incapacitated:
A person is incapable of consent if they are unable to understand the facts, nature, extent, or implications of the situation due to drugs, alcohol, a mental disability, being asleep or unconscious, or based on their age according to state laws. With respect to alcohol and drugs, intoxication and/or impairment are not presumptively equivalent to incapacitation.
Consent does not exist when the individual initiating sexual activity knew or should have known of the other person’s incapacitation.
- Alcohol and Consent
Here are some signs that a person may not be able to understand the facts, nature, extent, or implications of a situation due to the use of alcohol and/or drugs and may no longer be able to make a clear decision about giving consent:
- If a person is stumbling or falling down
- If a person cannot stand or walk on their own
- If a person’s speech is slurred or they are not communicating clearly
- If a person cannot focus their eyes or is confused about what is happening around them
- If a person has urinated, defecated, or vomited on themselves or around them
- If a person is sleeping or unconscious
Remember, being drunk is not a free pass. If you are drunk and you perform a sexual act on another drunk person, you are accountable for your behavior. The person initiating the sexual act is responsible for getting consent.
Safe Sex/Safer Sex is having any form of sex (vaginal, oral, anal, and/or genital skin-to-skin contact) while protecting yourself and your partner from STDs and unplanned pregnancy.
Safe sex can, but will not always, protect against diseases caused by infection with certain bacteria, viruses, or other microorganisms that can be passed from one person to another through blood, semen, vaginal fluids, or other body fluids, during oral, anal, or genital sex with an infected partner.