A new law has recently gone into effect in the State of California. The purpose of this new statute is to clarify when during the course of sexual relations “yes” means “yes”. This California law sets up requirements for colleges with regard to the procedures for looking into allegations of improper sexual conduct.
This California law was submitted by California Senator Kevin deLeon from Los Angeles. Mr. deLeon’s intent with this new statute was to require an “affirmative, conscious and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity.” This new California statute states that silence or a lack of resistence can not be construed to constitute consent for sexual relations. Individuals high on drugs, intoxicated, unconscious or semi-conscious cannot consent to sexual relations under this California statute.
Although consent to sexual relations can be non-verbal under the California law, the statute does not say what constitutes non-verbal consent to sexual relations.
Victim’s rights advocates are major sponsors of laws preventing sexual attacks. Sexual assault advocates take the position victims do not have to prove they resisted a sexual assault for the sexual conduct to be improper.
Should the consent be in writing? Should the writing be notarized or witnessed by a third party?