Understanding the New “Yes Means Yes” Consent Rule on College Campuses
Connecticut recently passed a sex consent law that changes the consent that a partner must give in order for the encounter to be considered consensual on college campuses. If a party claims that the sex act was not consensual, rape or sexual assault charges can be brought. The new law, which went into effect last year, requires both parties to consent by saying “yes” or other affirmative signal. It should be noted that this is only the standard for college campuses (both public and private) and not sexual assaults that are alleged to take place elsewhere in the state. This new standard is what will be used at college disciplinary hearings. It will not change what must be proven in a court of law.
The Old Standard
Formerly, sexual assault campaigns highlighted the phrase “no means no.” However, sexual assault advocates believed that requiring the victim to prove that he or she said no ends up blaming the victim for the assault. By requiring that parties give affirmative consent, advocates of the law say the victim’s behavior will become less of a focus.
Under the new law, the focus will be on the actions of the accused, and the accused will have to explain how he or she determined that the other person gave a “yes.” According to proponents of the law, affirmative consent can be verbal or involve physical cues.The new law also mandates that college students be instructed on how affirmative consent is given and what it means.
Sexual Assault Disciplinary Hearings
If you are enrolled at a college or university and are accused of a sex crime, you may face criminal charges brought by the state as well as disciplinary proceedings brought by the university. A skilled criminal defense attorney can provide services to you for both proceedings. College disciplinary proceedings can be unfair and prejudicial to the accused, especially if there is no professional counsel involved.
Contact a Fairfield County Sexual Assault Defense Attorney
If you have been accused of sexual assault, you should take your charges seriously and speak with an attorney as soon as possible. Our firm is ready to fully investigate your case and assert a compelling defense on your behalf. Call one of the skilled Fairfield County, CT sex crimes attorneys at the Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner at 203-348-5846 to schedule your first meeting.