When Alena Schaim teaches eighth graders about affirmative consent during Santa Fe Public Schools’ Sexual Health Education Week, she discusses why “no” can be a difficult word to hear.

She explains how body language can communicate a state of mind, such as enthusiasm or sobriety, and brainstorms with students why some people might feel pressured to say yes in a sexual situation, even if they’d rather say no.

Schaim, executive director of the local violence-prevention organization Resolve, said the goal of affirmative consent education is to ensure students who find themselves in sexual situations are empowered to communicate their own feelings and won’t ever assume consent of another.

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Jess Clark with the New Mexico Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs scrambles to catch names during an icebreaker introductory game Saturday at Girls Inc. before a discussion on affirmative consent.