Consent Month

Cape Breton University is committed to creating an environment that is free from sexual violence (actual or threatened), abuse, aggression and harassment for our students, faculty, staff and visitors. Click here to review CBU’s Sexual Violence Policy & Guidelines.

What is Consent?

The Criminal Code of Canada defines consent as the voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity.
Consent must be an active process, without the influence of coercion. One should never assume consent.

Consent is an active agreement

  • It is not possible to give consent while impaired by substances
  • Consent is not the absence of “no” or silence
  • Consenting to one sexual activity, does not mean that someone consents to other sexual activities
  • Consent is not possible if an individual uses their position of power or authority to manipulate someone into saying “yes”

Blue Shirt Day is Friday, March 5, 2021

Wear your best blue on Friday, March 5 to show your support for consent and against sexual violence. Don’t forget to tag us on social media!

Digital Awareness

Tips for Ensuring Digital Consent

Before taking photos or videos of anyone and posting them online, make sure the following things are considered:

  • Do you know those in the photo or video? Make sure to ask them for permission before posting.
  • Are those in the photo or video over the age of 18? If not, do you have the permission of their parents? If not, do not post the photo or video.
  • Is the photo or video of an intimate nature or contain nudity? If so, do not post or share.
  • Do not post someone else’s private information such as address, full name, medical records, work information, etc.

Tips Protecting Your Privacy Online

  • Think before you click! Really think about the photos, comments, messages and videos you want to post online before you put them there. 
  • Remember, things you post may not be private. Everything is shareable. People can copy comments, messages, photos and videos that you post online and send them to other people.
  • Know who your friends are. If you don’t know someone in-person, then you can’t be sure who that person is online.
  • Protect your privacy with passwords. It’s important to password-protect your mobile device. Use strong passwords on your accounts and don’t share them with others.
  • Respect your friends’ online footprints too! Before you post a photo or video with someone else in it, ask them if it’s okay.

Consent must be obtained prior to recording or taking photos of someone. This includes family, friends, coworkers, students and strangers. If you are going to record or take photos of a child, you must obtain permission from their parents before you do so. Do not post anything online without consent as it may violate the Privacy Act of Canada.


“Sexting” is a term used to describe the sharing of intimate photos or videos with another person. The content can range from sexually driven texts and partial or full nude photos, to sexual videos or pornography. Very often, sexting occurs between couples or people who are dating, but it can also happen between friends or groups via a range of devices, technologies and online spaces.

Most commonly, sexting occurs through text, private message on social networks, or apps such as Kik, Ooyoo and Instagram, FaceTime or Skype. It is not okay to share these images or videos between your friends or to post them online. If you and your intimate partner stop being in a relationship, then you should delete those images or videos as you no longer have consent to them. If your partner asks you to delete them, delete them. 

Questions about Digital Consent? Contact CBU’s Human Rights, Diversity and Inclusion Officer

Scott Thomas – Human Rights, Diversity and Inclusion Officer


Healing with the Seven Sacred Teachings is a colouring book for survivors who have been sexually violated, and their supporters. This book takes its inspiration and guidance from the original “We believe you” book from the Office of Sexual Violence Support and Education at Ryerson University in Toronto.

Healing with the Seven Sacred Teachings

We Believe You – A Colouring Book for Survivors and Supporters is an initiative of the Office of Sexual Violence Support and Education at Ryerson University in Toronto.

We Believe You

If you are meeting someone you met through an online dating app such as Tinder, Grinder, Plenty of Fish or through a social media app, here are some safety tips to consider:

  • Do your research. Do a Google search, try to find other pictures and see what information may be online about this person.
  • Use a Google voice number or a video chat rather than giving out your person number. This way you can block anyone that makes you uncomfortable.
  • Talk before meeting in person, as you may pick up verbal cues that you miss through instant messaging and texts.
  • Drive yourself or take public transportation to ensure you can leave when you want. This lowers the risk of being in an uncomfortable situation.
  • Meet in a public place. Avoid private dates for the first few dates. If you feel unsafe, ask the staff for help. Some bars have a code “Angel Shot” to let them know you are in distress.
  • Tell someone else about the date, like where you are going, the time, the name of the person you are going with and when you expect to be home. Have them call you if you do not call them by that time.
  • Stay Sober!