The definition of “consent,” both in society’s understanding AND our laws should be #FGKIA – Freely Given, Knowledgeable and Informed Agreement. Your music can make it happen!
Below are lyrics in search of a melody! Simply watch this TEDx Talk and follow NYAToday, (both are completely free,) then post your version of this song on YouTube by June 15, 2019. If your version is the most liked on YouTube, you’re the winner!*
Be sure to post your own comment on your version to engage your audience. You can ask them what they think about consent and to support your song!
*Follow the guidelines listed below.
#FGKIA Is How I Spell Consent!
I see you making eyes at me,
You’re playing with my heart,
But let’s be clear,
You need to hear,
Before we even start……
I’ve got some rules
Don’t think like fools
Who take what I won’t give.
Respect for me, It’s got to be..
This body’s where I live!
F-G-K-I-A, that’s how I spell CONSENT!
I’m not a sugar-coated prize,
I’m not entitlement!
It’s privilege getting close to me,
I’m giving you my trust.
Don’t scare me, force or lie to me,
To satisfy your lust.
F-G means freely given,
Not taken by some trick,
Not fooled, not forced, not compromised,
Too young, too drunk, too sick.
KI’s informed agreement,
With knowledge as my guide.
Consent is my decision,
Not stolen when you lied.
F-G-K-I-A is how I spell CONSENT!
I’m not a sugar-coated prize,
I’m not entitlement.
Don’t make decisions for me,
My body’s mine to share,
With someone who I chose to be,
Not someone who you scare.
So hear me out,
Don’t fuss or shout,
It’s how it’s got to be.
There’s no mistake,
It’s give, not take,
Respect my boundary.
F-G-K-&-I-A is how I spell CONSENT!
I’m not a sugar-coated prize,
I’m not entitlement.
It’s privilege, getting close to me,
I’m giving you my trust,
Don’t scare me, force or lie to me,
To satisfy your lust!
F-G-K-&-I-A is how I spell CONSENT!
I’m not a sugar-coated prize,
I’m not entitlement.
Don’t twist my arm, don’t do me harm,
Don’t lie, or shout or scare.
Before we start, you’ll win my heart,
And show me that you care.
Song Contest Guidelines
Contestants can use the exact wording of this poem or change it to suit their needs. They may also use the poem from the TEDx Talk, When YES Means NO, the Truth about Consent. But all submissions not using either poem must contain #FGKIA at least 3 times and define the meaning of consent in a positive way that includes “freely given, knowledgeable and informed agreement.”
The melody must be original.
The song may not contain vulgar or sexually explicit language.
The video may not display any graphic sex act.
All contestants must watch the TEDx Talk, When Yes Means NO, – The Truth about Consent and provide a YouTube comment.
All contestants are encouraged to post a link to NYAToday’s platform which allows for thoughtful engagement between youth, worldwide, about important issues of today. Your song with a post that describes why you decided to enter this contest and how you’re teaching people about consent in your daily life can boost engagement and help drive more buzz to your song contest submission.
Entries must be titled “#FGKIA Is How I Spell Consent – Your name, or the name of your group or band.”
Entries must have a minimum of 50 likes by 10 PM EST on June 15, 2019, to be eligible for prize money.
Contestants who are under the age of 18 must supply permission from a parent or legal guardian to be eligible for prize money. Have them write to info@ConsentAwareness.net with their permission.
Submissions are the property of the contest owner.
Will you be in NYC on March 23rd? If so, you’ll receive a warm welcome at the Church of the Advent Hope when I address the congregation on:
What does CONSENT really mean?
As all who read this Web Page know, “Consent” is the crucial weapon in the war on sexual assault! Come help spread the word and find out what you can do to create a society of consent-aware children, our best hope for a safer future.
It took me 4 years to write my first book, Carnal Abuse by Deceit. I published it in 2013. That means I began the process of trying to straighten out society’s understanding and laws on rape ten years ago. In those ten years, I’ve probably seen every definition of assent, acquiescence and consent that exists in the English language, right, wrong, and in between.
And I’ve recognized that society has a knee jerk reaction to considering non-violent sexual assaults as “rape.” I’ve learned not to split hairs over semantics; particularly because sexual assaults that are non-violent should be considered a lesser offense than violent sexual assaults. But all sexual assaults, whether violent or non-violent, should be covered by penal code because every victim who is sexually assaulted is defiled, whether or not violence was used against them.
Except for the misunderstandings that lump assent, consent, and acquiescence all together as synonyms – which they’re not – you’ll see that assent is a superficial type of agreement. Anyone who nods their head and says “yes” is assenting.
In 1946, an American military tribunal conducted military, criminal proceedings against 23 German medical professionals for their crimes against the human race. They had cooperated in or conducted ghoulish experiments using live humans during World War II. The Nuremberg trials, as they were known, gave voice to Nuremberg Code which guides medical experiments throughout the US. Nuremberg Code identifies that even a child, who has not yet reached the age of reason, can assent. Simply saying “yes” is assenting,
Nuremberg Code also tells us that saying yes when you have all the facts, are capable of reason, and are not being pressured, is “consenting.” Nuremberg Code requires the subject of a medical experiment to “consent.” If that subject is a child, their agreement could only be considered as “assent.” In order to conduct such an experiment, the child would have to sign an “assent” form. The parent or legal guardian would sign a “consent” form.
When a person acquiesces, they are assenting. But not everyone who assents is acquiescing. They could be agreeing but not because of fear. Acquiescence is agreement under duress, (fear/pressure.) You could also say that acquiescing is assenting under duress. But as Nuremberg Code points out, a person who consents must do so of their own free will. So a person who is pressured by fear to assent is not consenting. They are acquiescing.
In legal discussion regarding contracts, your assent can be nullified if the basic facts by which you assented were misrepresented (fraud). Although you agreed on the face of the information you were given, your assent is vitiated. Since you were not knowledgeable and informed, although you assented, you did not consent.
Why are these differences important?
We need for society to understand the difference between various types of agreement in crystal clear, simple terms. Our law makers are clear that we need “consent” to engage in sex. But they are clear as mud, and frequently incorrect, about what consent actually is.
In practice, from coast to coast, what is not expressly prohibited under the law is permissible: therefore, until we express that “nonconsensual sex is sexual assault, and consent is freely given, knowledgeable and informed agreement” in our laws, all instances in which a specific defiling act takes place without a specific penal code prohibition, that conduct cannot be prosecuted.
Several states say your “words and overt actions” are consent. Nope, if your words and overt actions result from force, duress, or deception, they are absolutely not consent. “No” means no, but “yes” only means yes when it’s not induced by force, duress, or deception. Only in rare cases do our laws uphold this principle.
As I’ve struggled with the process of motivating legislators to deal with this issue, I’ve seen that their interest in ignoring deception is deliberate. It’s far too consistent to be otherwise. Model Penal Code’s description, “Consent is ineffective if induced by force, duress or deception,” is too widely known for the omission of deception to be seen as simply an oversight or not relevant.
Our law makers have been truly callous to the harm a person suffers when they are tricked into sex, and they envision that these cases will “clog up our courts.” The fact that the victim’s self determination over their reproductive organs has been violated is irrelevant to them. The end result; however, is that their failure to identify what consent really means feeds the rape mentality that harms sexual assault victims all across the spectrum.
What can be done about it?
#MeToo and #TimesUp have identified that sexual assault is rampant, but even their efforts fail to reach to the core of the problem. Correctly defining consent in our laws would guide behavior and hold sexual predators, who prey on people for sexual contact in a myriad of ways, accountable.
Very few states correctly identify the relationship between assent and consent. Missouri is one of them. Missouri. 556.061 (14) states: “Assent does not constitute consent if (c.) It is induced by force, duress or deception.”
Why not? Because consent is freely given (not forced or coerced (duress)), knowledgeable and informed (not deceived) agreement. #FGKIA!
Yet when it came to prosecuting Mario Antoine, who tricked over 30 victims into sex, the SVU Prosecutor in Kansas City MO, Jill Icenhower, failed to prosecute.
Here’s Nuremberg Code:
“The person involved should have legal capacity to give consent; should be so situated as to be able to exercise free power of choice without the intervention of any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, over-reaching, or other ulterior form of constraint or coercion; and should have sufficient knowledge as to enable him (or her) to make an understanding and enlightened decision.”
The solution for holding all sexual assault offenders accountable is for our laws to recognize that all –
Nonconsensual sex is sexual assault – and
Consent is Freely Given, Knowledgeable and Informed Agreement – #FGKIA!
This isn’t rocket science. It’s just plain common sense! Call your legislator and demand that they enact this new, consent-based language to prohibit all forms of sexual assault into the laws of your state, today!
Help to adopt appropriate laws to conquer sexual assault today! Read Your Consent and send it to your legislators.
Suffering through sexual degradation impacts victims at their core. Their overwhelming sense of having been polluted is ever present, long after their ongoing contact with the offender stops. Escaping the grasp of a predator can be a horrific struggle. Even once achieved, an indelible suffering permeates one’s body and mind long into the future. Continue reading What’s the proper penalty for rape by fraud?→
Tonight’s broadcast of Nightline, (12:35 AM, Tuesday morning on ABC) is scheduled to cover the new bill that is soon to be submitted in Indiana on Rape by Impersonation. It features Joyce Short, Sally Siegrist, the State Representative who championed the legislative change, and Abigail Finney, the victim in the Donald Grant Ward case that Ms. Short discusses in her TEDx Talk,When YES Means NO – The Truth About Consent.
Barring that no major news event prevents this episode from airing, you can live tweet Ms. Short @jm_short using hashtag #FGKIA for Freely Given, Knowledgeable and Informed Agreement, the meaning of CONSENT!
NYAToday Media – News for Young Advocates Today – has teamed up with ConsentAwareness.net to make #FGKIA, the meaning of CONSENT, crystal clear to the younger generation. Growing a generation of “consent savvy” kids is crucial for conquering sexual assault in our future! This kid-friendly “ConsenUal Campaign” speaks volumes in a colorful, entertaining format that’s perfect for young minds, and their families.
The information is available in English, Portuguese, Spanish and French, with more to come.
Manchester, UK- Looks pretty innocuous, right? But this convicted sexual predator is guilty of assaulting two women through an elaborate scam. In one case he violently forced her. In another, he used a blindfold to trick her. His means of contact? Plenty of Fish which ranks highest on my list of e-dating sites for sex crime offenders.
Devereux’s hoax combined aspects of other convicted scammers, Mario Antoine in the US and Gayle Newland in the UK . Note to Devereux… not a good idea to copycat people who got caught!
Devereux hooked his targets by assuming the name “Dean,” posting an attractive profile, and grooming them to desire him over several months. Then he proceeded to convince them to have sex with his terminally ill friend “Rob” before meeting him. He also threatened to post intimate photos of one of the women on the internet.
Sexual Offense Prosecutor, Martin McRobb, explained Devereux’s method:
“Devereux worked on the emotions of these women over a long period of time, enticing them with a persuasive but utterly fake persona until they were desperate to meet him.”
“The decision making on this case was complex as on the face of it the women had consented to have sexual relations.” But, “this was not true consent as in the case of one victim she would not have submitted to sexual activity had she not been the victim of blackmail.”
McRobb’s understanding is on target in most aspects, but his terminology is flawed. He should watch my TEDxTalk! If we could straighten out society’s understanding, and enact the actual meaning of consent in our laws, his error would be visible to both McRobb and society.
“As on the face of it, the women had consented” is an oxymoron. Consent is freely given, knowledgeable and informed agreement. “Agreement on the face of it,” is “assent,” not “consent.” They are both forms of agreement. But consent, not assent, is required for sex.
McRobb should have stated: “On the face of it, the women had agreed, but agreeing on the face of it is assent, not consent. Consent is required in sexual conduct. The victim did not consent.”
In the instance where a victim was threatened, such as by threatening to disclose intimate photos, that victim would be “acquiescing,” agreeing under duress. Agreeing under duress is not “freely giving agreement,” therefore, it is not consent.
Kudos to Prosecutor McRobb for successfully locking up a sexual predator. He was absolutely correct when he said:
“The effects upon Devereux’s victims are life-long and catastrophic. Their self-confidence and desire to find a meaningful relationship may never return.”
David Mack deserves an award for his outstanding article on Rape by Fraud in today’s BuzzFeed!
In The Wrong Man, he captures the horrific sexual deception committed by Purdue University student, Donald “Grant” Ward, explains the suffering of his victim, Abigail Finney, and enlightens us about the legal confusion that mires the understanding of society, legislators and law enforcement alike over sexual assault. Continue reading BuzzFeed Zooms-In on Rape by Fraud!→
I’ve researched sexual assault laws across the country and back again. As a survivor, the author of 3 books on the subject and a TEDx Talk presenter, I can tell you, emphatically that we have so much sexual assault in our nation because our lawmakers are principally male!
Century after century, men have created the laws that kept us “LESS THAN!” We need to change this dynamic, and we need to do it NOW!
Seventy-six percent of the states and territories of the United States fail to define CONSENT in their laws.
I have fought to change this for the past 10 years. Today, a legislator in NY and another in Indiana, if re-elected, have pledged to adopt new laws on sexual assault in their states. They are Asm. Rebecca Seawright, a Democrat in NY City, NY, and Representative Sally Siegrist, a Republican in West Lafayette, Indiana. If you live in either location, and want to see a change in the prosecution of sex crimes, vote these ladies back into office!
As an advocate, I’ve spoken to men and women on both sides of the aisle. The single most common male-legislator resistance I receive to rightly defining consent in our laws is that our courts would be overwhelmed with sexual assault cases. Every time I hear this absurdity it blows my mind! Without realizing it, what they are saying is that they know how frequently sex crimes defile victims, but they are okay doing nothing about it!
Let’s all pull together to stop this nonsense!
Get women into positions of power that can shut down the volume of sex crimes for this generation and every generation to come! #Vote4Women!
Watch and share this TEDxTalk! Show it to your next powerful, female legislator!
None of the states or territories of the US properly define “consent” in their laws. 76% of the states and territories of the US have NO provisions for consent in their penal code. 24% have provisions that poorly define consent and only make prosecution possible in a small amount of cases. Here are the three largest obstructions that keep lawmakers from adopting correct consent laws, right out of their own mouths: Continue reading 3 Roadblocks that Prevent Prosecution for Sexual Assault→
It’s become pretty obvious why we have so much sexual assault in the US. It’s because our law makers enable it! We need to overcome this hurdle.
Since the beginning of time, consent was, is, and always will be the same…… freely given, knowledgeable and informed agreement…… even though, throughout the US, our laws fail to define consent properly. Failing to “define consent properly” contributes to rape.
Ridiculous excuses that prevent our laws from protecting us abound. Opposition stems from the ignorance of people with rape mentalities and law makers who want their votes, whether they have a rape mentality or not. All the road blocks come down to the same thing……
“If we recognize what consent actually is….. too many people will go to jail.”
But if a person defiles another person, a harm that can forever impact their entire journey through life, shouldn’t there be prohibitions and penalties against doing so? And doesn’t that victim deserve justice?
Laws change morality!
Generation after generation believed that enslaving another man, woman or child was acceptable behavior. People were barbarically ripped from their families and transported by ship to our shores to be marketed for sale in plain sight. It took changing our laws to stop that grotesque cannibalization of humanity.
Until we stop tolerating the omission of fact in our laws and in our minds, that no one has the right to touch another human being without their freely given, knowledgeable and informed agreement, sexual assault will continue unabated in the US. It’s that simple.
We can whine and complain.
We can create all the hashtags social media can absorb.
We can parade all the high profile offenders we can locate in the press.
The only thing that will stop sexual assault is a law that clearly states what consent is: freely given, knowledgeable and informed agreement. #FGKIA!
Was Saturday’s US Open match a clear case of misogyny? Can we infer that the official, Carlos Ramos, acted out of contempt for women?
For those who are unaware of the circumstance, the short story is that Serena Williams was given three successive and progressive penalties, which arguably could have made a difference in the outcome of the match. The unfortunate result is that the actions of Continue reading #Serena and #Consent→
July 25, 2018- NYC- A major milestone to define CONSENT took place today! Subsequent to my TEDx Talk, “When YES Means NO, the Truth About Consent,” two legislators, Indiana State Representative, Sally Siegrist (R) and NY State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright (D) pledged their bipartisan support to establish a clear definition for consent in the laws of their respectively red and blue states. This meeting of the minds shows that no matter what your politics, we can all unite against sexual assault!
Rep. Siegrist, who successfully fought for legislation to curb human trafficking in Indiana in last year’s legislative session, is determined to conquer sexual assault for her state. Here’s the link to her newsletter. Together with Assembly Member Seawright, a long time champion for women’s rights and the former Chair of the Board of the Feminist Press, they make a powerful pair!
Clearly defining consent will enable the police, prosecutors, judges and jurors to hold sexual predators accountable under the law and prevent the confusion between what constitutes “bad sex” or an actual sexual assault.
“Confusion over what consent actually is makes it difficult for society to comprehend. Our laws don’t tell us the definition. They only tell us what “consent” is not. We need laws to express the real meaning of consent…. Freely Given, Knowledgeable and Informed Agreement, #FGKIA,” says Short.
Both Indiana and NY will have legislative efforts to drive the issue of consent forward, and YOU can help! If you’ve been the victim of a sexual assault in either Indiana or NY and would like to speak out at a legislative hearing on this issue, please complete the totally private form below.
Also, if you are interested in helping to get other states to focus on this issue, please complete the form that follows.
In her very first question for our radio interview, Kaity Kline, Public Affairs Director for Rowan Radio On Demand, 89.7 WGLS FM, wanted to know; Why is it sexual assault even when the victim doesn’t expressly say “no” – like in the case of accused sexual predator, Harvey Weinstein?
On May 30th, at the Hay Festival in Hay-on-Wye Wales, an annual literature and arts festival, Germaine Greer made some devastatingly damaging claims about rape including that rape is just ”bad sex” and calling for lower penalties for sexual assault. Greer is an author and academic born in Australia and residing in the UK.
Her comments not only fly in the face of #MeToo and #TimesUp, but also my TEDxYouth@UrsulineAcademy talk (#TEDxUA and #TEDxUrsulineAcademy) that’s soon to be released.
“Most rapes don’t involve any injury whatsoever,” she said. “Centuries of writing and thinking about rape — as inflicted by men on women — have got us nowhere.” Rape, she said, should be viewed as a “lazy, careless and insensitive” act.
“Every time a man rolls over on his exhausted wife and insists on enjoying his conjugal rights, he is raping her,” she said. “It will never end up in a court of law.” She added, “Instead of thinking of rape as a spectacularly violent crime — and some rapes are — think about it as nonconsensual, that is, bad sex.”
She said the penalty should be 200 hours of community service: “If we are going to say trust us, believe us, if we do say that our accusation should stand as evidence, then we have to reduce the tariff for rape.” (In England, the maximum sentence for rape can be life in prison.)
At one point, Ms. Greer said the punishment could be an “r” tattooed to the rapist’s hand, arm or cheek.
While Greer is correct that not all sexual assaults are violent rapes, she fails to recognize the destruction of a victim’s self worth in all sexual assaults. So while not all sexual assaults are violent, and therefore punishable as an “aggravated” crime, they should still be punished, and a tatoo doesn’t cut it!
Every human being deserves the right to freely give knowledgeable and informed agreement #FGKIA every time they engage in sexual conduct. Without that willingness to engage, – whether undermined by force, duress or ripped from them by deception – they are being assaulted, not seduced. Force, otherwise known as violence, is only one of several ways a victim is deprived of consent (#FGKIA.) But all nonconsensual sex harms the victim. And everyone engaging in sex is entitled to consent to both the action itself and the actor.
How do we fix rape?
Our laws must reflect the proper definition of consent…. #FGKIA! in order to properly deal with sexual assaults of all kinds. Properly defining consent as freely given knowledgeable and informed agreement, #FGKIA, is the solution….. not decriminalizing this egregious and life altering crime!
A handcuffed Harvey Weinstein made his way into court today in lower Manhattan charged with rape and a criminal sex act. Whether he gets locked away or not will depend largely on whether Cy Vance, the Manhattan District Attorney, makes the case for applying the Continue reading Harvey Weinstein clearly lacked “consent!”→