New York is doing a pretty neat thing, Fangirls. The rules & regulations that New York enacts aren’t always the best, but this time, I couldn’t agree more. A few months ago, New York adopted a law requiring consent for any & all sexual activity on the campuses of it’s 64 State University of New York (SUNY) schools. Now, that law is being positively reformed, and spreading to all New York college, both public & private.
WARNING: This article may contain trigger warnings for sexual abuse.
Or it wants to, at least. Governor Andrew Cuomo is starting to speak, rally, and propose that this law should extend to all campuses in New York. He’s right, it doesn’t make sense to enforce this on certain campuses and not others, especially when the problem is universal. So now, Cuomo is pushing for the law to be welcomed into private colleges as well.“Yes Means Yes”, also referred to as Affirmative Consent, requires that a woman give “clear, unambiguous, and voluntary” consent before any sexual activity. “Affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement must be ongoing throughout a sexual activity and can be revoked at anytime” The law also says that a past history of sexual activity does not pass as consent, and “lack of protest or resistance does not mean consent, nor does silence mean consent”. It all seems like common sense. I love this bill but its also frustrating that we need to have a law like this. It shouldn’t need to be spelled out for people that they need clear consent from someone to have sex. However, its great that NY campuses are adopting something so positive and hopefully helpful. The law strongly acknowledges that rape is a crime, and needs to be dealt with like one. When a victim comes forward, they will have the option to report the assault to the state police, not just the campus or local. Cuomo stressed that officers handling the situation would treat it fairly, and recognize who the victim is. You go, Cuomo. There are a few things that get a little wishy washy for me regarding this law, though. For example, to encourage people to come forward and report their assaults, they are given a little incentive. If they come forward, they might be given immunity for any related offenses like drinking or drug use. Its hard to tell the circumstances of this because of phrasing, but it sounds like something people could certainly abuse. However, it could serve as a great aid in helping the victims. If they were drinking at the time, they might be scared to come forward about their assault for fear of getting in trouble or of someone not believing them. With this, though, they are willing to excuse someone from anything like that so that they can feel more comfortable telling someone. Cuomo and the law also clearly address women as the victims, which isn’t false. It just erks me a little when people think that women are the only people being assaulted. However, I’m happy that the governor and this state are standing up for women.
So, this second proclamation of this law isn’t passed yet, Fangirls. Only the first part which applies to SUNY schools is in effect. This law needs to be everywhere, so spread the word. If it becomes law for the campuses, it might extend to the rest of the state, and wouldn’t that be great if rape & consent were taken more seriously everywhere?
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