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Senate Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: December 22, 2014 09:59 AM
From: Senator Anthony H. Williams
To: All Senate members
Subject: "Yes Means Yes" - Affirmative Consent Education for University Students
In the near future, I will be offering legislation to provide Pennsylvania colleges a comprehensive framework for investigating allegations of sexual assault. The Sexual Violence Education Statute currently provides college students with the sexual assault victims’ bill of rights and preventative education programs. These laws were enacted to decrease sexual violence. Nevertheless, sexual assault continues to be prevalent at colleges all across America.

This legislation will require colleges and universities to teach and apply the affirmative consent standard for sexual assault. Every student will learn that “Yes Means Yes,” because unfortunately teaching “No means No,” has not halted sexual assaults. According to the National Center for Higher Education Risk Management, over eight hundred colleges have already enacted a consent-based model stating that “consent can only be given by words or actions … [and] silence, in and of itself, cannot be interpreted as consent.” Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation to prevent sexual misconduct on Pennsylvania’s college campuses. If you had any questions, please contact Joanna McClinton at 215-492-2980 or JMcClinton@pasenate.com.

Introduced as SB1005