Our laws are failing us!
Provisions and definitions make up all of our penal codes.
- Definitions explain the terms that are used in our provisions.
- Provisions tell us the conducts that constitute a crime that can be prosecuted, but provisions only make sense if their words are well-defined.
NO STATE OR TERRITORY DEFINES CONSENT IN OUR SEXUAL ASSAULT LAWS!
The end result of failure to define consent is a set of provisions that are out of sync with what CONSENT actually is! And sexual predators like Harvey Weinstein say:
“It’s just – I’m confused- and men are confused about all these issues!”
Take the #CodifyConsent Challenge!
We need our lawmakers to tackle sexual assault!
Using the hashtag #CodifyConsent shows them how important this issue is to you! You’ll be raising society’s awareness about the solution to sexual assault and rape with every hashtag!
Use the hashtag wherever you see sexual assault discussed. Tweet and DM your legislators to ask….
“WILL YOU #CODIFYCONSENT?”
Share this information with all your followers and everyone you know!
Weinstein is confused because the laws of NY State do not define consent!
When his jurors asked NY Judge James Burke for the legal definition of consent, all he could say was: “Use your commonsense.”
The laws of Pennsylvania do not define consent!
When the Cosby jurors asked Pennsylvania Judge, Steven O’Neill, “What’s the legal definition for consent?” all he could say was, “Use your commonsense.”
Your state or territory does not define consent either!!
Because law makers and jurists perpetuate this nonsense! And why? Because they’d actually have to lock people up when they defile you if penal code correctly defines consent!
Rape mentality has been passed down century after century and is protected by our laws. Law makers and jurists are dismissive of the defilement every victim of sexual assault feels, a life altering condition that impacts victims regardless of how the offender overcame your self determination. And even though you may not immediately recognize that you were sexually assaulted, a premeditated crime was committed against you. No one sexually assaults you by accident!
The 14th amendment of the US grants all citizens equal rights under the law.
If some defiling acts are criminal, all defiling acts are criminal. Instead, legislators prefer to pick and choose which specific defiling acts they will prosecute and ignore the rest. By including the correct definition for consent in penal code, all sexual conduct without consent qualifies as a punishable sexual assault!
Without “consent” defined, our laws look like this….
One of the oldest doctrines in law is: “Nulla poena sine lege,” which means, “What is not prohibited by law is permissible.” By picking and choosing specific predatory acts, our laws are a Swiss cheese umbrella full of legal loopholes. We don’t use a Swiss cheese umbrella approach to murder or theft. We should surely not use a Swiss cheese umbrella approach to sexual assault!
Our laws have absolutely no problem protecting against stealing by acknowledging the accurate definition for consent when someone takes your property. In fact Model Penal Code, created by the American Law Institute back in 1962, states:
“Consent is ineffective if induced by force, duress or deception.”
But this provision is totally disregarded in dealing with defiling acts. In Texas, when a woman attempted to report a sexual assault at her precinct, and pointed out the consent language in Texas’ Penal Code, – which is patterned directly from Model Penal Code – the Fort Worth Police Sergeant told her, “Consent is not an element of rape in Texas.”
Even Model Penal Code’s discussion of consent is not actually a definition. It’s a provision. It addresses certain behaviors and tells you specific actions that could make your consent “ineffective.” This concept establishes an oxymoron because there is no such thing as ineffective consent. Consent simply does not exist if force, fear or fraud is used to secure your agreement.
Different forms of agreement do not measure up to consent
In instances of force or coercion, while you could acquiesce, you could not consent because you were under duress.
In instances of deception, while the offender blinded you to the truth, your agreement could only be considered assent, which is “agreement on the face of it,” not consent.
Arriving at the definition
By stating the elements for Model Penal Code in the positive, the definition for consent is:
“Freely Given, Knowledgeable, and Informed Agreement, #FGKIA.”
Additional widely accepted, and strictly enforced codes support the #FGKIA definition of consent
- Nuremberg Code governs the standards of disclosure and agreement that medical and research entities must adhere to when engaging you in a medical experiment like a research trial, or in any form of medical treatment.
- General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) governs your right to privacy and protection on the internet.
The Cosby trial dramatically supports the need to #CodifyConsent
Thank the good lord that the foreperson for the Cosby trial was a Cyber Security expert named Cheryl Carmel who clearly understood the definition for consent in GDPR.
Failure to properly define consent in our penal codes makes convicting sexual predators a crap-shoot. Enough is enough!
Society needs the definition for consent in order to guide behavior and hold sexual predators accountable. This does not mean that all forms of sexual assault will lead to a class A Felony conviction. Degrees are established in penal code to reflect the level of harm to the victim. Degrees are applied to all criminal acts and must be applied to sexual assault acts as well.
What’s the importance of the #CodifyConsent hashtag?
Our legislators need to hear that we are tired of the grotesque way they have failed us. RAINN tells us that sexual assaults take place, on average, every 73 seconds. That number has increased significantly from when I presented my TEDx Talk in 2018. At that time, the average was 98 seconds. The rate will continue to increase because even though society is beginning to promote the importance of consent, sexual predators can readily see how difficult it is for our laws to lock them up. Our legislators need to put teeth into our laws to back up society’s awareness.
Take the #CodifyConsentChallenge!
Whenever a candidate runs for an office that can impact sexual assault law, ask “If you win, what will you do to #CodifyConsent in our laws? Include this URL in your tweet to give them background: http://bit.ly/CodifyConsentChallege.
Help raise awareness. Put legislators on notice that we demand change!
Spread the word by using the hashtags #CodifyConsent and #FGKIA for Freely Given, Knowledgeable and Informed Agreement everywhere you see sexual assault, consent, and rape discussed. Doing so in 5 tweets or social media posts each week will exponentially raise society’s awareness and create change! Involve your network in this effort!
Together, we can use our voices and our votes to make the world a safer place!
2 thoughts on “Sexual Assault will not stop ’til we #CodifyConsent!”
As a sexual assault victim I agree that we need to define consent. Great article Joyce.
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