“Yes means yes” promotes student safety

By Clarion Editorial Board

One in four women will experience some form of sexual assault during their academic career according to a 2012 academic study.

But Citrus College students don’t need to look far for examples of sexually violent acts. There have been three separate cases of sexual assault reported on our campus since 2011.

The growing number of sexual assault incidents across college campuses nationwide have led to California legislators passing SB 967, which states that students attending institutions of higher education in California must seek affirmative consent, meaning that both parties would have to verbally agree with a “yes” before engaging in sexual activity.

Governor Jerry Brown should sign this “Yes Means Yes” bill into law for the safety of the students at Citrus and all colleges in California.

While the bulk of sexual assault cases on U.S. campuses are predominantly male on female crimes, this statistic ignores the sexual assault rate by men on men, women on women, women on men.

Traditionally, much of the responsibilities of rape crimes have been put on the shoulders of innocent victims.

In fact, this global attitude toward sexual assault was the start of one of the largest protests against the matter starting with the Denim Day movement in 1997. An 18-year-old rape victim was unable to lawfully press charges against her rapist because of the fit of her jeans.

The court decision ruled that if the young woman was truly a victim, she wouldn’t have worn such tight clothing, which lead to an international social movement known as Denim Day where individuals dress in denim to remind each other that clothing is not consent.

We need to think about rape as the crime that it is.

Like any crime, it is the sole fault of perpetrator, not the victim.

A short skirt is not consent. A cleavage-bearing top is not consent. Nudity is not consent. We must abolish these unspoken stigmas that invade our campuses. Even the stigmas of the kind of susceptible victims are prospects that must be re-evaluated in order to create a safe environment for students.

Not only does “no” mean no, but only “yes” can mean yes.

There needs to be a drastic change in the way we respect each other’s bodies. This isn’t the type of issue meant for nodding your head politely in support; it’s the type that requires action on your part immediately.

Consider this your rallying war cry, Owls: it’s up to you to urge Governor Brown to sign this bill.