5 Things to Know About "Yes Means Yes"

Yes means yes and no means no

5 Things You Should Know About SB 967, also known as the "Yes means Yes" Bill or the "Affirmative Consent" Bill:

1.     SB 967 is also known as the "Yes Means Yes" Bill that emphasizes affirmative consent.

Unanimously passed on Sept. 2 by the California State Senate, SB 967 states that all colleges and universities in California must clearly define “yes means yes.” They must determine whether “affirmative consent” was given when investigating reports of sexual assault on college campuses.

2.     This bill could redefine consent, especially on college campuses.

Even if the victim was drunk, drugged, asleep or unconscious during the assault and could not verbally give consent, their silence or lack of resistance still does not constitute consent. The bill defines affirmative consent as something that should be ongoing, voluntary, enthusiastic, conscious and sober between both parties during sexual activity.

3.     This redefinition might encourage victims to feel more inclined to come forward about their assault.

Sadly, most sexual assaults are rarely reported because victims are scared to come forward, fearing that they will be blamed for or are lying about their own sexual assault. Some victims don’t even recognize that they have been assaulted (because of the conditioned belief of male entitlement), even if the victim is clearly uncomfortable (even if they’re not explicitly saying no).

4.      SB 967 requires colleges and universities to be more active when investigating cases of sexual assault.

In May, the Department of Education released a list of 55 colleges and universities that were under investigation for allegedly violating federal law by possibly mishandling sexual assault complaints. The list included Occidental College, UC Berkeley and USC. Having SB 967 can heal any gray areas campuses have while handling complaints, and by also making sure the victim has the proper attention, services and therapy they need while healing.

5.      Critics of the bill believe that it goes too far in regulating sex and it “takes out all the fun” from it...

But affirmative consent should be active in not only school policy, but as a "rule of thumb" that all should follow. Even if the bill isn’t approved by Gov. Jerry Brown (it’s awaiting his signature) SB 967 already fuels conversation and makes us rethink the true meaning of consent — already one step closer to taking down rape culture.