Education

Campus Assault Bill Sent to California Governor

August 29, 2014
 

Yes-means-yes should replace no-means-no as the standard for sexual consent -- or the lack of it -- on California's public and private college campuses, the Legislature decided Thursday.

It sent to the governor Senate Bill 967, which would require all colleges taking student financial aid funding from the state to agree that in investigations of campus sexual assaults, silence or lack of resistance does not imply a green light for sex, and that drunkenness is not an acceptable defense.

"It does change the cultural perception of what rape is," said Sofie Karasek, an activist who has fought for changes in UC Berkeley's practices. "There's this pervasive idea that if it's not super violent then it doesn't really count."

California's unique legislation comes amid a national movement demanding solutions to a problem that has plagued campuses for generations. In the past two years, a well-organized and savvy network of college students and alumni -- and the U.S. Department of Education -- has challenged colleges to do more to prevent attacks, educate students about consent, support rape victims, and discipline offenders, as federal anti-discrimination laws require.

Gov. Jerry Brown has until Sept. 30 to sign the bill and generally does not comment beforehand.

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