In the next few days, the California Governor, Jerry Brown, is expected to sign a “yes means yes” bill. This bill, SB695, seeks to incorporate sexual violence and harassment education into California high schools’ curriculum.
After SB695 is signed into a law, high schools will be required to teach students about what affirmative consent means and why it is necessary before engaging in sexual activity.
State Senator, Hannah-Beth Jackson, a co-author of the bill, said, “Young people’s attitudes about gender and sexuality start well before high school. …It’s really critical that we start addressing issues of healthy relationships and sex and how to handle one’s sexuality and sexual behaviors at the earliest possible stage because what we are seeing in our culture today is clearly sexual violence that is completely out of control and at epidemic levels.”
California was the first state in the United States to adopt an affirmative consent policy for state colleges last year, followed by New York. It was reported by The Guardian that 12 other states and cities are considering similar laws. In addition, the White House launched a task force and program that seeks to help college campuses prevent sexual assault on their campuses.
The White House task force confirmed the statistic that one in five women experience sexual violence via a study conducted at Rutgers University this year.
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