9.10.15 | Prachi Gupta
Lawmakers say the conversation about affirmative consent must start before college.
California Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to sign a new "yes means yes" bill in the next few days, the Guardian reports, making California the first state in the nation to incorporate sexual violence and harassment education into high school curriculum.
After Senate Bill 695 is signed into law, high schools will be required to teach students what affirmative consent means and why it is necessary before engaging in sexual activity:
The definition of consensual is "affirmative, conscious and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity." It also specifies that "lack of protest or resistance does not mean consent, nor does silence mean consent." Consent can be verbal or non-verbal but being under the influence of drugs or alcohol can negate a person's ability to give consent.
California was the first state in the nation to adopt an affirmative consent policy for state colleges last year, followed by New York. Now 12 other states and cities are reportedly considering similar laws.