Sexual Assault Bill Takes Security Out of Intimacy

By Karina Tovar- Staff Writer

The way you consent to sex might not be the same anymore.

An amendment to senate bill No.967 was added March 27, 2014, which adds sexual assault as part of schools Education Code under student safety.
The purpose of the Bill is to increase safety on college campuses but the gray areas of this Bill pose an invasion of privacy. This bill is now dictating what should be said before engaging in an intimate sexual relationship. Your lover would no longer coo words of affection before getting intimate, but would rather recite scripted words prescribed by laws for “dictated consent”.
Senators Kevin De Leon and Hannah-Beth Jackson introduced the bill that would require governing boards of each community college district to implement new procedures and protocols that will ensure students, faculty, and staff who are victims of sexual assault on institutions; properly receive treatment, on and off campus resources , and information. The governing boards, which this bill will affect, are the Trustees of the California State University, the Regents of the University of California, and the governing boards of independent post-secondary institutions.
The bill covers concerns with on-campus sexual violence, dating violence, stalking, and elements that include an affirmative consent standard which sets a determination of whether consent was given by a complainant.
““Affirmative consent” is a freely and affirmatively communicated willingness to participate in particular sexual activity or behavior, expressed either by words or clear, unambiguous actions. It is the responsibility of the person who wants to engage in the sexual activity to ensure that he or she has the consent of the other person to engage in the sexual activity. Lack of protest or resistance does not mean consent, nor does silence mean consent. For that reason, relying solely on nonverbal communication can lead to misunderstanding. The existence of a dating relationship between the persons involved, or the fact of a past sexual relationship, shall not provide the basis for an assumption of consent. Consent must be present throughout sexual activity, and at any time, a participant can communicate that he or she no longer consents to continuing the sexual activity. If there is confusion as to whether a person has consented or continues to consent to sexual activity, it is essential that the participants stop the activity until the confusion can be clearly resolved.” This and more information can be found on the California Legislative Information website under Bill Information 967.
This Act provides students and staff members with extra measures of security and peace of mind, but it also poses for opportunity of misusing the purpose of the bill. Lets play out the all too familiar scenario, two consenting individuals engage in sexual activity, to one person it’s the beginning of a beautiful relationship, and to the other, it’s the end of a one night stand. If the individuals engaged in sexual activity without first drafting out a consent form, the individual who feels betrayed by their disillusioned partner might wake up feeling like they have the right to call it rape and with this act, they would. The lines between providing enough security and invading personal privacy are beginning to blur and leave a gray area where many could seek refuge in a personal vendetta. Now this bill may serve a greater purpose, but the feeling of unease as the law is now fully invading bedrooms detracts from its greater good. The bill acknowledges nonverbal consent but it also warns that this will not hold up if someone decided to cry rape the next morning because you failed to call. More needs to be done to protect student and faculty safety on campus, but these guidelines seem a little too close to bed for comfort.

An amendment to senate bill No.967 was added March 27, 2014, which adds sexual assault as part of schools Education Code under student safety.
The purpose of the Bill is to increase safety on college campuses but the gray areas of this Bill pose an invasion of privacy. This bill is now dictating what should be said before engaging in an intimate sexual relationship. Your lover would no longer coo words of affection before getting intimate, but would rather recite scripted words prescribed by laws for “dictated consent”.

Senators Kevin De Leon and Hannah-Beth Jackson introduced the bill that would require governing boards of each community college district to implement new procedures and protocols that will ensure students, faculty, and staff who are victims of sexual assault on institutions; properly receive treatment, on and off campus resources , and information. The governing boards, which this bill will affect, are the Trustees of the California State University, the Regents of the University of California, and the governing boards of independent post-secondary institutions.

The bill covers concerns with on-campus sexual violence, dating violence, stalking, and elements that include an affirmative consent standard which sets a determination of whether consent was given by a complainant.

““Affirmative consent” is a freely and affirmatively communicated willingness to participate in particular sexual activity or behavior, expressed either by words or clear, unambiguous actions. It is the responsibility of the person who wants to engage in the sexual activity to ensure that he or she has the consent of the other person to engage in the sexual activity. Lack of protest or resistance does not mean consent, nor does silence mean consent. For that reason, relying solely on nonverbal communication can lead to misunderstanding. The existence of a dating relationship between the persons involved, or the fact of a past sexual relationship, shall not provide the basis for an assumption of consent. Consent must be present throughout sexual activity, and at any time, a participant can communicate that he or she no longer consents to continuing the sexual activity. If there is confusion as to whether a person has consented or continues to consent to sexual activity, it is essential that the participants stop the activity until the confusion can be clearly resolved.” This and more information can be found on the California Legislative Information website under Bill Information 967.

This Act provides students and staff members with extra measures of security and peace of mind, but it also poses for opportunity of misusing the purpose of the bill. Lets play out the all too familiar scenario, two consenting individuals engage in sexual activity, to one person it’s the beginning of a beautiful relationship, and to the other, it’s the end of a one night stand. If the individuals engaged in sexual activity without first drafting out a consent form, the individual who feels betrayed by their disillusioned partner might wake up feeling like they have the right to call it rape and with this act, they would. The lines between providing enough security and invading personal privacy are beginning to blur and leave a gray area where many could seek refuge in a personal vendetta. Now this bill may serve a greater purpose, but the feeling of unease as the law is now fully invading bedrooms detracts from its greater good. The bill acknowledges nonverbal consent but it also warns that this will not hold up if someone decided to cry rape the next morning because you failed to call. More needs to be done to protect student and faculty safety on campus, but these guidelines seem a little too close to bed for comfort.

 

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