By Kerri Zeblisky
Sexual assault is the bane of society. Many victims don't come forward, but why? The main reason is that the proof of the case lies with the victim proving that it happened to them. Only 6% of woman (and less for men) report they had been raped or had some sort of sexual activity forced on them. We need to change this.
As a survivor of rape I looked into bill 967 that California first passed in the year 2014. Other states want to follow suit. The bill was dubbed the "Yes means Yes" bill. Don't let the name mislead you its good start, here's why:
Section 1.1 states as follows: “An affirmation consent stranded in the determination of whether consent was given by both parties to sexual activity.”Affirmative Consent “means affirmation, conscious, and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity. It is the responsibility of each person involved in sexual activity to ensure he or she has the affirmative consent of the other or others to engage in the sexual activity to ensure. Lack of protest or resistance does not mean consent, nor does silence mean consent. Affirmative consent must be ongoing through a sexual activity and can be revoked at any time. The existence of a dating relationship between the persons involved, or the fact of past sexual relations between them, should never be assumed be an indicator of consent."
To me this says that if you know, are dating, have dated, or have had sex with the person, you still don't have immediate consent. You have the right to say "No”. Also by not saying anything or not fighting back it does not automatically mean that the person want to have sex. The bill also states that if a person is asleep, otherwise unconscious, under the influence of drugs, alcohol or medication, or just unable to communicate, to do to mental or physical conditions, consent is also not a given. Some people might construe this by saying that if a person isn't really turned on by sexual activity that it can be reported as a rape.
In reality false rapes or sexual reports are also reported to authorities. This is a shame as it makes the real accusations seem less credible. This also puts a record on an innocent person that could possibly last a lifetime. In these cases I believe that the accuser should face some sort of punishment for falsifying testimony. I don't see this as the norm, but most people who’ve been raped will not come forward because of the few people that have done that.
In conclusion, this bill also states that colleges are responsible for protecting both parties (for the aforementioned reason) by providing privacy and confidentiality. Colleges can lose funding if they don't follow the rules outlined in the law. The student population is supposed to be made aware of what consent is and is not, which brings me to another topic. Which will be explained in part two, so look out for it!
Blog posts are written by Shore House members and staff.