Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill making California the first in the country to have a clear definition of when people consent to sex. The law goes beyond the usual “no means no” standard, which has been accused of bringing ambiguity to sexual assault investigations. Together, we can make sex a positive experience for everyone involved. This positive experience is based on consent, the mutual agreement of both parties to every action that takes place along the way. Consent means that you are both willing and willing to share that moment, and that you both have control over how that moment will be. In other words, both people need to say “yes” and keep saying “yes” as interactions continue – that`s what healthy intimacy is! Although “No means no” has become a familiar slogan, it weighs on victims and makes them their duty to resist. It has also been ridiculed by some university fraternities and distorted into offensive slogans. Others, like conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh, have misrepresented it again, spreading the idea that no really means yes “if you know how to recognize it.” Alan Dershowitz: Innocent until proven guilty? It would be more accurate to call it the law “affirmative consent to sexual activity means consent to sexual activity,” but it`s not that catchy. In 2014, the state of California signed Senate Bill 967 into law, which set the standard for positive approval for all colleges and universities. Affirmative consent means “affirmative, conscious and voluntary consent to sexual activity” and is “the responsibility of each person involved in sexual activity to ensure that they have the explicit consent of others or persons to engage in sexual activity.” “This is the first year I`ve added the affirmative consent slide,” said Sarah Meredith, director of the Davis Center for Advocacy Resources and Education at the University of California, which studies the sexual behavioral orientation of new students. “Sometimes I ask the group, `How many of you have heard of the `yes means yes` law?` I`ll probably get about 10% of the amount that will raise their hand. “Affirmative consent” means affirmative, conscious and voluntary consent to sexual activity.
It is the responsibility of each person involved in sexual activity to ensure that they have the explicit consent of the other person(s) to engage in the sexual activity. Absence of protest or resistance does not mean consent, any more than silence means consent. Consent must be continuous during sexual activity and can be revoked at any time. The existence of a romantic relationship between the persons involved or the fact of past sexual relations between them should never be considered as an indication in itself as an indicator of consent. This means that the new law not only raises the standard of consent in sexual assault cases in college, but also reduces the amount of evidence required to conclude that consent was lacking. These changes mean that a person charged with sexual assault is much more likely to be convicted by their college than by a criminal court. But for Jackson, teaching sexual partners how to give and obtain consent to maintain healthy relationships is a cultural shift, rather than requiring an alleged victim to have a stubborn “no,” a cultural shift that must occur to reduce statistics on violence against women and girls. And, Mitchell said, giving children a clear understanding of the expectations of the “yes is yes” period at a younger age will likely make it easier for both sexes to navigate consent policy as young adults. California is the first U.S. state to define when “yes means yes” in cases of sexual assault on college campuses, following a bill sponsored by Sen. Kevin de Leon signed Sunday. Rich Pedroncelli / AP Hide the caption The new standard comes from SB 967, dubbed Yes Means Yes Law, signed by California Governor Jerry Brown on September 28.
Now that it is passed, all schools that receive government funding for financial aid must use a so-called “affirmative consent standard” to decide whether a sexual assault has occurred. In other words, if both individuals have not clearly indicated that they consent to their sexual relationship, the college may determine that the person who did not consent was attacked. To better educate young Californians about positive approval, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a new law, SB 695, this month that requires public high schools to develop a curriculum that covers “yes means yes,” the consequences of sexual violence, and the development of healthy peer relationships based on mutual respect. Because “no means no” has proven ineffective, California last year enacted SB 967, legislation aimed at making “yes means yes” the norm of consent on college campuses and taking a big step toward preventing sexual violence. This legislation requires preventive education when orienting students, better access to counselling resources, and training for juries. The bill, popularly known as “Only yes means yes,” aims to address the nebulous definition of consent in Spanish law. In the absence of a codified definition, the law has long relied on evidence of violence, resistance or intimidation to decide whether a criminal sexual act has occurred. California`s new requirement only requires high school educators to discuss the concept of “yes means yes” with students and not apply it as a consent measure in a sexual assault case. But this introduction can help raise awareness of the expectations and consequences of not engaging in opt-in consent behavior before going to universities and colleges, where a violation of the “yes means yes” policy can now lead to expulsion. And for those who choose the non-academic route, it gives them knowledge about sexual guidelines that some lawmakers hope will eventually become cultural norms. California paved the way for opt-in consent legislation last year when it first required in the U.S.
that all public colleges receiving public funding for financial aid use a “yes means yes” standard when investigating sexual assault, another bill co-authored by Jackson and Senate President pro tempore Kevin de Leon. Another important element of the law is that it requires “ongoing” consent and allows it to be “revoked at any time”. For example, a person could consent to sexual activity and then, later in the meeting, withdraw consent. In this case, she would be sexually assaulted if the meeting continued. It also means that it is not proof of consent to be in a relationship with someone or to have had sex with them before. A 2007 study by the Department of Justice found that one in five women is the victim of attempted or assaulted sexual violence during her studies. A new California law aims to reduce those numbers by allowing colleges to replace the “no means no” rule with a “yes means yes” rule when evaluating sexual assault cases. New York followed suit by adopting a punitive “yes, yes” policy, and 12 other states and cities have since considered positive approval measures, according to Consent Gamechangers, a Florida-based advocacy group. Many universities have introduced their own guidelines for affirmative consent regardless of state law, as the mantra of affirmative consent has been supported by feminist celebrities such as Gloria Steinem and Lady Gaga. This reality — coupled with the fact that women who were not enrolled in college were 1.2 times more likely to be raped or sexually assaulted than those in higher education, according to a U.S. Department of Justice study — makes it important to reach children with the idea of “yes means yes” before their college years, educators said.
While the “yes means yes” standard for sexual behavior extends to many U.S. colleges, California lawmakers have passed a new measure that will include a consent program in the state`s high schools starting next year. Cohn said affirmative consent rules are generally problematic at the university because they create an unfair burden on the defendant by leaning toward presumption of guilt rather than innocence and violating due process rights — affirmative consent charges are usually heard by some sort of campus court that has the power to sanction a student. but is carried out according to campus rules. No government regulation.