California is often on the cutting edge of social changes and is once again the first state in the nation to take a stand on an important social issue. With the introduction of the “yes means yes” bill, California has become the first state to adopt a law regarding sex crimes on college campuses. Hoping to change the way citizens perceive rape, this new bill requires all students on California college campuses to have full consent before participating in sexual activities. But what does this landmark ruling mean for college campuses and sexual assault policies across the nation?
Consent required for sexual activity
The new ruling defines consent as “an affirmative, conscious and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity.” Emphasizing voluntary agreement over lack of resistance, this new law hopes to change the way rape cases are looked at in the courtroom. Affirmative consent has never before been a facet of a school’s sexual assault policy until now.
Under this new bill, silence or a lack of resistance does not count as offering consent. If a person is drunk, drugged, unconscious or asleep, they are unable to grant consent. This differs greatly from what many people consider to be instances of rape, with the hope that this rule will shift the cultural perception of sex crimes.
Time has come for change
Following a recent alleged date rape conspiracy at a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee fraternity, students and lawmakers across the nation have strived to make changes to current sex crime laws. The White House recently called sex crimes an “epidemic” on college campuses and even the President believe this issue must be curbed. In January, President Obama launched an initiative to put an end to sexual assault, especially on college campuses.
It is estimated that nearly 1 in every 5 women is sexually assaulted during their time in college. Whether or not this ruling spreads to other states remains up in the air, but a conversation has been started regarding what actually constitutes consent in regard to sexual activities.
For more information on sex crimes or for a Las Vegas criminal defense attorney, contact Brian J. Smith today at (702) 380-8248.
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