California bill would define sexual consent on college and university campuses

Aug 28, 2014 1:55 AM by Vanessa Vasconcelos

California is on the brink of becoming the first state to define when yes means yes while investigating sexual assaults on college and university campuses.

The bill passed the Assembly on Monday with a 52-16 vote. It now goes to the Senate for a final vote on amendments. While some say the bill is controversial because of its language, Chico State already holds the bills standard along with all of the CSU and UC campuses.

The sexual assault bill heading to the senate will fundamentally change the way college and university campuses handle sexual assaults. The legislation requires investigations of sexual assaults to seek whether so called "affirmative consent" was granted.

The victim-centered nature of the bill says yes only means yes if its said out loud. Emily Peart, Director of the Safe Place says that's already common practice at Chico State.

CSU's along with UC campuses adopted the affirmative consent standard as the best practice.

The language is similar to the bill in that silence or lack of resistance wouldn't be considered consent. Nor is consent while a victim is under the influence. It also requires colleges to partner with community organizations for rape prevention and crisis services.

With college students being the most common demographic to be victimized by sexual assault, outreach programs like the Safe Place run through the campus police department, are not only helping victims they're helping students become better bystanders.

The program specializing in victim services teaches prevention as well as acts as a safe place for people to report a sexual assault.

Statistically, about 1 out of every 4 women will have an experience that meets the legal definition of rape or attempted rape by the time she leaves college. That statistic is 1 in 33 for men. If the sexual assault bill becomes a law, it will apply to all colleges and universities accepting state money for financial aid.
Critics say it overreaches by regulating bedroom activity.


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