Correctly defining consent can save countless victims from sexual assault, domestic violence, sex trafficking and more! In fact, every human interaction should respect each person’s “consent.” Yet consent could be the most misunderstood word in our justice system! Watch this TEDx Talk for a clear understanding!
Recognizing the correct definition in the penal code of every state and territory will make a world of difference! But no state or territory… absolutely none…. provides an actual definition for the noun “consent” in its penal code.
24% of penal codes contain provisions that tell us specific – but not all – instances when consent fails to take place. Many use contradictory terms that can make sexual assault impossible to prosecute. 76% of our states and territories have neither provisions nor a definition for consent. Many states embed their blame-the-victim concepts into their penal laws.
Consent is a unique and specialized form of “agreement.”
By synthesizing the definition for consent from Model Penal Code, Nuremberg Code, and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), we can create the easily understood definition of consent:
“Freely Given, Knowledgeable and Informed Agreement – #FGKIA –
By a person with the capacity to reason!
Society needs new laws to recognize when crimes take place!
Nowhere in our justice system is the consent blindness in our laws more problematic than in sexual assault cases. Most police precincts in the US scoff at a victim’s sexual assault complaint when the offender is an acquaintance or when they did not use violence to overwhelm the victim.
The names for sex crimes differ from state to state, contributing even greater confusion. State use several terms to indicate sexual contact without consent. Some use “rape” primarily for nonconsensual sexual contact when forcible compulsion or threat of forcible compulsion are used by the offender. Others adopt words like: “sexual assault,” “sexual exploitation,” “sexual battery,” “sexual misconduct,” “unlawful sexual conduct,” and more. But no matter what name is used for nonconsensual sexual contact, all sex crimes should be addressed by penal code.
The simple language each state should adopt in order to consistently uphold every person’s right to consent in all sexual conduct, and provide protection from all forms of sexual assault is:
“Nonconsensual sex is sexual assault: Consent is freely given, knowledgeable and informed agreement by a person with the capacity to reason”
While violent rape is an “aggravated” form of sexual assault, predators who use a malicious, but non-violent influence to undermine their victim’s self determination over their body, are committing a sex crime.
The degree or level of the crime, such as a felony or misdemeanor, distinguishes the severity of harm to the victim and; therefore, the resultant consequences to the offender. Our laws punish burglary using violence more harshly than theft with no violence. No matter what type or size weapon a murderer uses to kill their victim, we recognize a crime is committed. Our sex crime laws should apply the same principle, separating offenses by various degrees.
To determine the status of CONSENT and SEXUAL ASSAULT laws in your state, read “Your Consent – The Key to Conquering SexualAssault”
You can help!
Together, we can make a meaningful difference in how ALL sexual assaults are treated by law enforcement and the courts!
- Read Your Consent – The Key to Conquering Sexual Assault
- Pass it along to the legislators in your area.
- Demand that they define consent in the laws of your jurisdiction to prevent sexual assaults, now, and for generations to come!
Consent was, is, and always will be, “Freely Given, Knowledgeable and Informed Agreement by a person with the capacity to reason.” Use your voice to turn these important, understandable words into law, today!
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