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It would be more accurate to call the law “affirmative consent to sexual activity means consent to sexual activity,” but that`s not that catchy. In 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the “Yes Means Yes” law, which requires California colleges to have clear sexual assault guidelines that shift the burden of proof from victims to defendants. The “Yes is Yes” movement dates back to the “No, That`s No” movement, founded in the 1990s by the Canadian Federation of Students to combat sexual violence.  California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill making the state the first in the United States to define when “yes means yes” and adopting academic requirements to be followed when investigating sexual assault reports. Alan Dershowitz: Innocent until proven guilty? Not under “yes means yes”. Jerry Brown signed a bill that makes 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. 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.
Another important element of the law is that it requires consent to be “ongoing” 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. De Leon said the legislation would usher in a paradigm shift in how college campuses in California prevent and investigate sexual assault. Instead of using the refrain “no means no,” the definition of consent under the bill requires “an affirmative, conscious and voluntary consent to engage in sexual activity.” 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! 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. 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 A 2007 study by the Department of Justice found that one in five women experience attempted or assaulted sex while in school. 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. The new standard comes from SB 967, dubbed the Yes Means Yes Act, signed into law 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. 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. 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. “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. 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 express consent of others or others to engage in sexual activity.” In September, the White House launched a campaign to prevent sexual assault on campus. Among the recommendations of the Task Force for Improving Sexual Misconduct Policies is that college policies on sexual misconduct define consent as “voluntary consent to sexual activity.” In a CBS Evening News report last month, UCLA attorney Savanah Badalich used her own personal experience of rape to describe its meaning. While this approach isn`t entirely new — the University of California system, as well as all Ivy League colleges except Harvard, already use affirmative consent standards — California is the first to make it a nationwide law. While sexual assault is a much bigger problem than colleges, there has recently been a lot of interest in how to respond to a so-called sexual assault epidemic on campus (one in five women has experienced a sexual attempt or assault at university, according to a 2007 study funded by the Department of Justice). Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape is a feminist book edited by Jaclyn Friedman and Jessica Valenti, published in 2008. The book was one of Publishers Weekly`s 99 Best Books of 2009 and inspired a non-credit sex education course at Colgate University.   The title refers to the popular “Yes Means Yes” campaign against rape, which calls on sexual participants to obtain “yes” consent to every sexual act or escalation. The California legislature approved the measure last month with broad support.
But while victims` lawyers have adopted the new standard, the law also has critics who say its requirements place too heavy a burden on the accused. Lately, there has been a lot of interest in how to respond to a so-called epidemic of sexual assault on campus. “The state of California will not allow schools to sweep rape cases under the rug,” he added, according to the AP. “We`ve shifted the conversation about sexual assault to prevention, justice and healing.” The National Coalition for Men, a men`s rights organization, published an editorial warning ahead of the bill`s passage that the new norm would threaten the “due process rights of the accused.” This is an oversimplified way of describing the above changes and pointing out that the law represents a departure from the more common approach to sexual assault allegations, which is to ask if the alleged victim has ever said “no.” Thus, drunk students are unable to give the kind of consent that would allow their schools to exclude having been sexually assaulted. The law also states that drunkenness is not an excuse to be confused about whether you have received positive approval from your sexual partner. “With one in five women on campus experiencing sexual assault, it`s high time to shift the conversation about sexual assault to prevention, justice and healing,” de Leon said in Brown`s lobbying for his signature. Other topics included in the book include body image, self-esteem issues, incest, and society`s views on rape. This has been recognized at the highest level of government. In May, the Department of Education announced it was investigating at least 55 colleges and universities for possible violations of federal laws in dealing with allegations of sexual abuse. State lawmakers passed a bill last month by Sen. Kevin de Leon, a Los Angeles Democrat, as U.S. states and universities come under pressure to change the way they handle rape allegations.
Victims of campus sexual assault and women`s groups delivered petitions to Brown`s office on Sept. 16 urging him to sign the bill. Based on one of the largest student surveys ever conducted — more than 150,000 students from 27 universities participated — the report found that nearly one in four students reported experiencing unwanted sexual touching.