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Legislature Approves 'Yes Means Yes' Measure


California’s legislature has approved a bill that requires public colleges and universities in the state to change the way they deal with campus sexual assault. 

The “yes means yes” measure requires schools to take a victim centered approach to sexual assault. It requires partners to provide affirmative consent before taking part in sexual activities. The bill would also require public colleges and universities to define clearly when “yes means yes” in regard to consensual sex on campus. 

Democratic Senator Kevin de Leon says it shifts the emphasis on assaults away from women.

“No means no. Did you say no? It was very difficult if you’re inebriated," says de Leon. "It’s very difficult if someone slips something into your drink and you could never say no to fend off the attacker.” 

Proponents say 20 percent of female college students have been sexually assaulted on campus. De León says his bill would direct campuses to have trained staff on hand to deal with date rape and other crimes, which are increasing on campuses.

“In numerous incidences and in numerous cases, university officials have failed the victim or survivor, time and time again,” he says.

Opponents says this amounts to policing people’s sex lives 

De Leon says this is the first bill of its kind in the nation. It now goes to Governor Jerry Brown for his signature. 

 capitolstate government

Katie Orr

State Government Reporter

Katie Orr covers everything from the Governor to state agencies. She received her Masters in Political Science from San Diego State University. In her spare time Katie enjoys wine tasting and shopping, though she tries not to combine the two.   Read Full Bio 

Max Pringle

State Government Reporter

Max covers the state capital, bringing more than a decade of experience in print and public radio, including reporting for KPFA, KQED and KALW. He traces his news roots to working on his his high school newspaper.   Read Full Bio