By Raven Fon | Unisoultheory.com
SEXUAL CONSENT SEEMS LIKE A BASIC CONCEPT, YET ALL OVER OUR SOCIETY, ESPECIALLY IN COLLEGE, IT’S BECOME MORE TRICKY TO DEFINE.
On January 1, 2013 the definition of rape changed from, “The carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will,” to “The carnal knowledge of a person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her age or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physicalincapacity“ Instead of rape being seen singularly as ‘a woman who is held down and forced to have sex,’ it now includes the imperative aspect of consent- and not just from women, but men too. In our modern hook-up culture, colleges and universities are experiencing the highest rate of these sexual assaults.
College campuses across the country are finally starting to realize how important spreading information on consent really is. In fact, ‘affirmative consent’ is law for public universities in California, Illinois, New York and Connecticut. Affirmative consent is defined as, “A knowing, voluntary, and mutual decision among all participants to engage in sexual activity. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create clear permission regarding willingness to engage in the sexual activity.”
The Affirmative Consent campaign slogan of “yes means yes” is oversimplified, to say the least. Yes does mean yes, but how and why someone said yes are key components as well. The thing about consent is that is has to be constant. Someone can say yes one minute, and then change their mind; just because they said yes at some point doesn’t mean they are making a future commitment.
The following video from Thames Valley puts things in a way that anyone can understand. It’s simple, it’s short, and it makes perfect sense.
Rape and consent are two huge issues right now, and we need to address them both. More than 90% of people who have been sexually assaulted on a college campus don’t come forward. They fear blame and ridicule, and speaking out against their attacker usually leaves them having to defend themselves.
THE STATISTICS ARE ASTONISHING:
- 1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men are sexually assaulted while in college
- 63% of rape crimes in the country are not reported, making rape the most under-reported crime
- Women ages 18-24 who are college students are 3 times more likely than women in general to experience sexual violence. Females of the same age who are not enrolled in college are 4 times more likely
- College women are twice as likely to be sexually assaulted than robbed
- On average, there are 288,820 victims (age 12 or older) of rape and sexual assault each year in the United States
Pay attention to your surroundings, and if you see something, say something. You never know how much pain you could be saving someone from.
Main image via Unified Soul Theory