Target: California Governor Jerry Brown
Goal: Require colleges to craft comprehensive policies for preventing sexual assault and investigating assault cases
The rampant mishandling of sexual assault cases on university campuses has created a backlash from students, faculty, and anti-rape activists around the country. Recently, the California Senate unanimously passed the “Yes Means Yes” bill to address the problems that perpetuate rape culture at American colleges. Under the bill, schools must adopt an “affirmative consent standard” to determine whether an incident is classified as rape. Urge Governor Brown to sign the “Yes Means Yes” bill immediately to protect students from sexual assault at California colleges this school year.
The bill would amend the state’s Education Code to require all post-secondary institutions receiving state funding to create and maintain policies for preventing and investigating cases of sexual assault as well as instances of dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking. This bill marks the first time a state has stepped up with a clear definition of consent that leaves no room for victim-blaming. The bill explicitly states that it is “the responsibility of each person involved in the sexual activity to ensure that he or she has the affirmative consent of the other or others to engage in the sexual activity.”
It goes further to outline the processes that colleges should use for investigating sexual assault cases, as well as the resources that should be available for the prevention of sexual assault and the treatment of survivors. Senator Kevin de León, the author of the bill, told the Associated Press, “With this measure, we will lead the nation in bringing standards and protocols across the board so we can create an environment that’s healthy, that’s conducive for all students.”
By signing this petition, you are calling on Governor Jerry Brown to sign the bill, giving it his full support. You are urging him to acknowledge that this bill is an important part of reforming the way that universities handle sexual assault and ending rape culture on California campuses.
Dear Governor Brown,
I am writing to you to express my support for the “Yes Means Yes” bill. It is high time that a state legislature in this country stepped up to the plate when it comes to campus sexual assault and the mistreatment of survivors at American universities. Reforming our country’s ideas of sexual assault and consent is a crucial first step in tearing down the rape culture that pervades our colleges.
If we want our post-secondary institutions to represent the best and brightest of American students, we need to make them a safe place for all. That means shifting the conversation away from victim-blaming and toward policies that prevent sexual assault by educating students about affirmative, enthusiastic consent. By putting the impetus on students to ask for and receive enthusiastic consent from their sexual partners, colleges can begin to pave the way for a healthier, safer, new “normal” for all students.
I urge you to sign this bill and give it your unequivocal support as a necessary effort to rethink the way universities handle sexual assault cases and the issue of consent. Please sign the “Yes Means Yes” bill into law and make California a leader when it comes to safety for students on college campuses.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Chase Carter via Flickr