2.12.16 | Daniela Altimari
STORRS — Seeking to crack down on sexual assaults on college campuses in Connecticut, lawmakers on Friday renewed their push for a bill that would set a new standard for consent.
The concept, known as "affirmative consent," shifts the burden of proof in disciplinary cases from victim to perpetrator. Instead of requiring a victim to prove that she or he said no to sexual contact, the policy requires a school's disciplinary board to determine whether there was an unambiguous and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity. If not, a student could be expelled or subject to another punishment.
Such policies "create a safer campus environment for students to come forward after an assault," said Maddie Granato, a policy associate with the Connecticut Women's Education and Legal Fund.
Similar laws have been passed in New York and California. A bill was proposed in Connecticut during the 2015 legislative session and cleared the Senate in a near unanimous vote, but it failed to come up in the House.