As David Mack aptly described in his BuzzFeed article, Justin Schneider was not convicted of sexual assault in Alaska. Ejaculating on a victim’s face while they’re out cold was not a crime…. not even when he admitted that he’d choked her to knock her out.
Alaska’s statutes called for physical touch of body parts, not semen, to hold Schneider accountable. Too late for his victim, the Alaska House and Senate passed a bill to plug this dreadful hole in Alaska’s Swiss cheese umbrella.
The citizens of Alaska will soon have a way to prevent one additional specific drop from falling into the rape bucket in their state – where rape is three times the national average.
In a similar effort to plug-up a loophole, Texas Governor Gregg Abbott of Texas signed a bill into law, that takes affect on September 1, preventing fertility doctors from swapping sperm. Texas resident Eve Wiley had learned that her father was not donor #106 as her mother had chosen, but rather, the fertility doctor who artificially inseminated her.
Plugging up loopholes does not always succeed.
Donald Grant Ward had been arrested for raping a young woman he tricked into thinking he was her boyfriend in a Purdue University dorm. He confessed and was arrested…. but the jury determined his conduct was not a crime according to Indiana law.
Although Legislators Sally Siegrist and Donna Schaibley attempted to enact a bill to shut Ward’s conduct down, the Indiana legislature did not see the need. Yet Governor Eric Holcomb recently signed a fertility switching bill into law, similar to the Texas bill, that will take affect on July 1.
Plugging loopholes is not the solution!
Rushing to legislate case-specific change once an egregious sex crime becomes public is a spotty, imperfect stab at a cancer. In every sex crime, the offender acts without the consent of the victim. The many ways an offender can do so is both immense and unpredictable. The loopholes we’d need to plug would number infinity less what currently has been legislated. We need the blanket of “consent” to protect us, not the deficiency of a Swiss cheese umbrella.
Failure to recognize the definition of consent, so that all nonconsensual sexual conduct is dealt with as a crime, is as absurd as failing to vacate a house when you know the fire is heading your way, or to dawn a life jacket when your boat is sinking. There is a simple solution – a vaccination called “consent” that can eradicate the disease we know as rape. So far, our laws have failed to use it. It’s time for a change!
Will Pennsylvania pave the way?
ConsentAwareness.net has met with legislators in PA to write the first actual definition for consent into their Penal Code on sexual assault. This effort can enlighten and transform rape laws across the US and around the world. We need your prayers! And if you’d like to help get a consent law passed in your state, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Watch this TEDx Talk and share it with everyone you know!
Call your legislators and demand change! .