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California Confronts Sexual Assault in Colleges

posted Oct 9, 2014, 10:43 AM by Unknown user

Emily Anderbery

California Governor Jerry Brown signed the “Yes Means Yes” bill (SB 967) on Sunday, Sept. 28. The law requires all colleges that receive state funding to use an “affirmative consent” standard in their sexual assault policies, or a clear ongoing consent instead of an absence of resis

The law also requires that the colleges provide student aid for assisting victims of sexual assault, stalking, domestic violence, and date violence. As an orientation standard, each college must provide an outreach program to the incoming students, the college hopes that this will educate students on sexual assault, and how to prevent it. The standard must be adopted by the colleges in order to continue receiving state funding.

Senator Kevin de Leon, sponsor of the bill, said, “Every student deserves a learning environment

that is safe and healthy. The State of California will not allow schools to sweep rape cases
under the rug. We’ve shifted the conversation regarding sexual assault to one prevention, justice, and healing.”

California is the first state to pass a bill of its kind. Other states are looking into the affirmative consent legislation, due to the controversial sexual offense cases that happen nationwide. According to a recent CNN article, advocacy rights groups among many others are pushing the federal and state governments to address the piece of legislation as a nationwide policy and the colleges and universities nationwide that fail to handle their sexual-assault allegations.

“Yes Means Yes” addresses incapacitation, including a person being under the influence of both drugs and alcohol. While committing to sexual intercourse a person has to say yes, the intercourse must have both sides consenting to the act. Date rape drugs, alcohol, and many other forms of influential drugs are used in college, which can affect a person’s decision making.

ABC News got insight during legislation’s push for the bill, Senator de Leon stated, “These are our daughters, they are our sisters, they are our nieces. It is incumbent on men, in particular, to step up and to stand up and to do everything possible to change that culture – a culture that’s quite pervasive on our college campus. That is a rape culture.”

Although statistics show that women are the majority of rape victims, men are not excluded. The law applies to both females and males, and provide help and counseling to both sexes. According to the New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault 5% of rape victims are male, and 1 in 4 college women are victims of rape or sexual assault.

The bill is set to be implemented to all state funded colleges. According to an article in The Guardian  colleges will begin a paradigm shift in the sexaul assault policies.  Other states such as Maryland, Texas, and Connecticut are also looking to use an “affirmative action” policy. The Bustle says, “‘Yes means Yes’ policy paves the way for real, decisive change.”

"Yes Means Yes"... yes or no?

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