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Sexual Consent at California Colleges Now Legally Requires 'Affirmative, Conscious and Voluntary Agreement


The legislation says silence or lack of resistance does not constitute consent.

Image source: KCRA-TV

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (TheBlaze/AP) — California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Sunday that makes his state the first in the nation to define when "yes means yes" and adopt requirements for colleges to follow when investigating sexual assault reports.

Rather than using the refrain "no means no," the definition of consent under the bill requires "an affirmative, conscious and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity."

Image source: KCRA-TV Image source: KCRA-TV

The legislation says silence or lack of resistance does not constitute consent. Under the bill, someone who is drunk, drugged, unconscious or asleep cannot grant consent, the AP added.

Lawmakers said consent can be nonverbal, the AP reported, and universities with similar policies have outlined examples as a nod of the head or moving in closer to the person.

More from the AP:

Advocates for victims of sexual assault supported the change as one that will provide consistency across campuses and challenge the notion that victims must have resisted assault to have valid complaints.

The bill requires training for faculty reviewing complaints so that victims are not asked inappropriate questions when filing complaints. The bill also requires access to counseling, health care services and other resources.

Critics said the legislation overreaches and sends universities into murky legal waters. States and universities across the U.S. are under pressure to change how they handle rape allegations, which plays a large part in the new sexual consent rules in California.

The following report, which includes interviews with college students, aired just prior to Brown signing the bill:

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