Recently the states of New York and California passed a law known as the affirmative consent law.
According to the survivor advocacy group End Rape on Campus (EROC), the legislation puts a new requirement for affirmative consent in place.
“The law established that consent is a voluntary, affirmative, conscious, agreement to engage in sexual activity, that it can be revoked at any time, that a previous relationship does not constitute consent and that coercion or threat of force can also not be used to establish consent. Affirmative consent can be given either verbally or nonverbally. Additionally, the law clarified that a person who is incapacitated by drugs or alcohol, or is either not awake or fully awake, is also incapable of giving consent.”
This law is a dramatic step forward in the battle against sexual assault.Consent should never be something that is questionable or something surrounded by blurred lines. Consent should be straightforward; yet, countless rapists and sexual abusers walk freely, claiming a clear “no” was not in place.
We, as students and as simply human beings, must stand up, a united force to fight for what is just. We must rise to the occasion, and promote a clear understanding of the concept of consent. We must make those who abuse others accountable for their appalling and inexcusable actions.
Consent should not have to be so strictly defined in order to be clear, but the affirmative consent campaign will undoubtedly change the at times bizarrely loose view of consent.
EROC’s Take Action campaign illustrates how every single person is capable of taking a stand against sexual harassment in all forms by “believing and supporting survivors, avoiding victim blaming, being intentional with your language, knowing your rights, and practicing affirmative consent.”
It is incorrect to think that you are just one person, who is incapable of cultivating great change.
We, The Ranger staff, ask that you stand together and promote the affirmative consent campaign. We urge you to spread awareness. We plead that you support those around you and educate others. It is within our power to put a stop to sexual assault.