It’s little wonder that Alaska State Representative Geran Tarr is focused on defining CONSENT for her state’s Penal Code. Alaska has the highest ratio of rape from coast to coast; close to 3 times the national average!
The American Bar Association (ABA) recently attempted to provide recommended wording for “consent” in order to get the states and territories across the US on the same page. You’d think I’d be jumping for joy, but unfortunately, I’m not. And the reason is not because their attempt failed, but because their attempt sooooo woefully missed the mark!
More and more, we’re seeing men take responsibility for preventing sexual assault. The ItsOnUs campaign focuses on men stepping in when they see potential or actual danger. And no one, neither mother nor father, wants their child harmed by a sexual predator.
In the US, many states attempt to define the word “consent” by what it’s not instead of what it is. And our system of justice nonsensically changes “consent” with each application. Whether consent is applied to cyber security, theft, medical research, sexual assault, etc., consent is always the same thing….. #FGKIA, Freely Given, Knowledgeable and Informed Agreement. Continue reading Laws that define “Without consent” do not define “consent”→
In contrast to last year’s Hay Festival… the annual literature and arts festival conducted each year in Hay-on-Wye, Wales, comedian Jo Brand gave rousing support to the #MeToo movement. As reported by The Guardian, she stated: “I feel it is something we need to keep pushing at. It was going in the right direction until certain people said, ‘Oh they’ve had their say, can they not be quiet now?’” She blamed most of Continue reading Hay Festival- What a difference a year makes for #MeToo!→
April 18, 2019- Doylestown, PA- Steve Humanick of Stone Harbor, NJ, faced two accusers yesterday in open court. One victim is currently seeking a restraining order against him to protect herself and her family. The other previously received a settlement in a civil action against him, and testified under oath that Humanick had raped her. Continue reading Steve Humanick Is Back in Court→
Kudos to Eve Wiley from Dallas TX, who inspired a precedent setting sexual assault by fraud bill, approved by legislators in Austin yesterday! Speaking about the offender, Representative Stephanie Klick, the bill’s sponsor in the House of Representatives, said, “This is a person who you really trust and they betrayed you.” She was referring to the case of Wiley’s mother who had been duped by Dr. Kim McMorries.
Just like postal carriers delivering important mail, neither gusty wind nor heavy rain deterred our staunch “Consent Crusaders” from descending on the Pennsylvania statehouse this past Monday. I was joined by Nina Lucas, our PA Consent Awareness Outreach Ambassador, and Cheryl Carmel, Foreperson for the Bill Cosby jury. We addressed a bipartisan group of five representatives – several of whom were surprised to learn that consent is not defined in their penal code. In attendance were State Representative Wendi Thomas, State Representative Joe Emrick, State Senator Katie Muth and her Legislative Director Sonia Kikeri, Legislative Director David Kozak representing State Senator Wayne Langerholc, and State Representive Joe Ciresi. Each attendee received a copy of Your Consent – The Key to Conquering Sexual Assault and information specifically geared toward the issues in Pennsylvania.
Cheryl Carmel explained that the jurors asked Judge Steven O’Neill what the word “consent” meant in law and they were surprised that no specific definition had been codified into Pennsylvania’s statutes. They were told that as “reasonable people” they needed to use their best judgement, and they did. As the Foreperson, Carmel was tasked with pronouncing Cosby, “Guilty, Guilty, Guilty,” on all three counts.
Rep. Wendi Thomas had begun some of the heavy lifting to create a bill by reaching out to a lawyer to lend a hand. She recommended finding a way to insert a definition in existing law. We’re looking forward to seeing the results of her efforts.
What can you do to help?
I know I sound like a broken record, but the more people who watch my TEDx Talk and read Your Consent– the better informed you and society will be! Please watch, read and spread the word!
Call your legislators and demand change.
If you’d like to be an Outreach Ambassador in your state or territory, reach out to me at Info@ConsentAwareness.Net.
Watch #SeedOfDoubt on ABC’s 20/20 tomorrow night, 10/9c, to see yet another way the laws of Texas denies justice to its residents!
Be sure to watch this compelling story, and contact your legislators to demand that “fraud” be an element of sexual assault in your state!
20/20’s episode shows how a young woman who came to life as the product of artificial insemination, believed her father was donor #106, and they enjoyed a close father/daughter bond….. except….he wasn’t really her father.
Consent is the critical key that should separate lawful contact with a victim’s reproductive organs from unlawful contact. Yet in Texas, sexual assault law does not protect against a fertility doctor swapping sperm to implant his patient…. a decidedly vicious sexual assault by fraud.
Consent is not simply agreement.
Consent is freely given, knowledgeable and informed agreement, #FGKIA.
Unless and until Texas Penal Code applies consent appropriately and states that all conduct involving a person’s reproductive system – that lacks consent – is a crime, criminal behavior such as this will continue to fall through legal loopholes.
Swapping sperm violates victims on several fronts:
Fraud vitiates the consent form which was required in order to perform the medical procedure since the patient was not knowledgeable….. rendering the medical procedure an illegal act.
Fraud violates the victim’s sexual autonomy, a sexual assault, because the patient was not knowledgeable and informed. She could only “assent” which means “agreement on the face of it.” She could not “consent” which means “freely given. knowledgeable and informed agreement.”
In matters of reproduction, fraud creates the bond of pseudo-family. Revelation could be devastating to all parties.
The laws of Texas are upon you, or, at least, they should be
In Texas, “consent” is ignored where rape and sexual assault is concerned. In several efforts to report rapes to various precincts, police officers, and even a Sergeant, recently told victims, “Consent is not an element of rape in Texas.”
Violating consent is clear when someone steals property…. but the same consent provision that protects property is not applied in protecting a person’s sexual autonomy. Instead, the legislators of Texas have chosen specific acts of sexual assault to prosecute… a system consistent with using an umbrella made of Swiss cheese to protect against a storm.
Texas should take a cue from Missouri or from my TEDx Talk!
Unlike Texas where fraud only protects against theft and not sexual assault, Missouri’s Rape in the 2nd Degree statute clearly states: “Assent is not consent when induced by force, duress or deception,” While Missouri expresses when consent does not take place, my TEDx Talk, “When YES Means NO – The Truth about Consent,” clearly defines what consent actually is – Freely Given, Knowledgeable and Informed Agreement. #FGKIA!
Did the patient freely give the doctor knowledgeable and informed agreement? There’s no Swiss cheese when #FGKIA is applied. It’s an all-encompassing umbrella!
Kudos to Abby Ellin for getting this right!! As an author about a very contentious subject, I’m often concerned about my words getting twisted, but Ms. Ellin was thorough about the important points and spot-on in the message she’s conveyed.
The #FGKIA definition for consent, “Freely Given, Knowledgeable and Informed Agreement,” is the REAL definition for consent. We need to drive #FGKIA into the consciousness of society! Adopting this language into law will not only open society’s eyes to defrauding victims of sex, but will help conquer all forms of sexual assault! We can no longer tolerate our legislators picking and choosing specific types of sexual assaults to prosecute, when ALL FORMS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT IS – WAS – AND FOREVER WILL BE A CRIME!
Failure to recognize this definition not only impacts sex by deception victims, but prevents society from understanding what actually constitutes rape.
For the NY Times to be dealing with the issue of sexual assault by deception is a huge step forward to enlighten society. Please read this article and write your opinion in the comment section. Use your voice to make the world a safer place!
Were you denied a police report when you summoned the courage to unburden your soul at a precinct? Did your aching heart get re-victimized when they told you the damage you suffered was not enough to warrant their attention?
Almost one year from the date of disgraced comedian Bill Cosby’s conviction as a sexual predator, April 26,2018, a new book will be released that supports, categorically, that my recommended definition for #CONSENT – Freely Given, Knowledgeable and Informed Agreement, #FGKIA, – is absolutely correct!
Huge thanks to Nina, from New Jersey, for passing this information along!
Page Six covered the story of the book’s release yesterday. Fortunately, the foreperson for the jury, Cheryl Carmel, had been working with a newly enacted European data protection law. She told her fellow jurors, “This is the most far-reaching law anywhere in the world for individual privacy, and the basis of the law centers around an individual’s ‘consent.’ ”
The Page Six article states:
The definition of consent in this privacy law states it must be freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous. It must be given by a clear affirmative act; it must be demonstrated that each of the above tests occurred, and it must be able to be withdrawn at any time.
“This is the privacy definition,” she said. “Surely, there is a specific legal definition of consent for criminal acts such as aggravated indecent assault.”
It turns out there isn’t, at least not in Pennsylvania.
The jury sent a note to the judge, requesting a definition of the word. The judge replied in open court. His reply was perplexing to the jury; they were informed that there isn’t a definition — that is, Pennsylvania law does not offer a definition of “consent,” and the judge advised the jurors to define the word for themselves.
Convicting sexual predators cannot rely on Cheryl Carmel being the foreperson for every sexual assault jury!
As I clearly stated in my TEDx Talk, every state and territory must have a clearly stated and accurate definition for consent that guides people’s behavior and holds sexual predators accountable. My TEDx Talk and my book, “Your Consent – The Key to Conquering Sexual Assault” focuses on the consent issues from state to state and clearly explains why Nonconsensual Sex Is Sexual Assault, and CONSENT is Freely Given, Knowledgeable and Informed Agreement, #FGKIA!
It’s not over ’til it’s over, and you can do your part to insure it never happens again!
One of the oldest doctrines in law is “Nulla poena sine lege.” (How old? It’s Latin! It dates all the way back to the Roman era.) It basically means, “What is not prohibited by law is permissible.” This doctrine keeps the gates open on whether the judge and jury were within the bounds of PA law in determining Bill Cosby’s fate, a premise Cosby’s attorneys will likely argue upon appeal.
This doctrine and its application are the route of why we must have an overall recognition that nonconsensual sex is sexual assault in our penal codes. Law makers could not even begin to state the infinite ways a person can be sexually assaulted, just as they cannot possibly predict the infinite ways a person can be murdered. We know when someone kills another person by any means, they are a murderer. Our laws must reflect that when someone sexually violates a person by any means, they are a sexual predator committing a sexual assault.
You can help make a difference!
You can stand up for defining consent as #FGKIA in the laws of every state, including PA, and establishing that Nonconsensual Sex IS, WAS and ALWAYS WILL BE, Sexual Assault!
Help get this across to society by doing the following today:
Tulipan, an Argentine condom manufacturer, created new packaging to promote the “No Means No” concept of consent. Their box requires four hands to open. But this packaging fails to recognize that someone can be forced, coerced or deceived into cooperating. And when that happens, CONSENT is not present no matter how many hands have stirred this pot!
Less than 15% of Argentine men are estimated to actually use condoms. Never-the-less, this version of consent confusion intensifies the mischaracterization of consent as agreement by any means. While “No” always means “No,” “Yes” only means “yes” when it is “freely given, knowledgeable and informed. #FGKIA!”
Just like a Marlboro cigarette box is required to display a warning, Tulipan’s boxes should bear this notice:
“Regardless of how many hands open this box, consent is not present if either party has been forced, coerced or deceived to secure their agreement to sexual conduct.”
Rodin’s figure of The Thinker was originally cast for his design of “The Gates of Hell,” the entrance way to a museum that was never built. It’s planned use seems analogous to the harm all rape victims endure, regardless of how they were raped. And it’s high time all of society rethinks what constitutes sex vs. what constitutes sexual assault!
Knowing what I do about sexual assault, that our laws really don’t define “consent” correctly, it pains me to see all the misguided efforts by intelligent, serious minded people who try to come to grips with the rampant volume of sexual assault. There really is one, and only one, necessary solution…. correctly defining consent in our laws, and creating a fully encompassing sexual assault provision to sync with that definition.
Without taking this critical step, sexual assault will never be defeated! Instead, we’re simply sticking a band aid over an amputation. #MeToo has highlighted the problem but too many sexual assaults are falling through the cracks in legal loopholes or being termed “confusion” or “bad sex,” by an unknowing society.
How terrible are our current laws?
My ConsentAwareness.Net friends who are fighting to change the laws in Texas know only too well how absurd the current laws are in their state. They’ve been to five precincts in the last couple of weeks. Even though Texas has a reasonably clear definition, it is only used to thwart thieves, not rapists. In fact, in the specific words of a precinct Sergeant in Ft. Worth…. “Sexual assault is not defined by consent in Texas.” If you think your state is better at recognizing sexual assault, think again!
Curbing crime takes both definitions and provisions
To fight sexual assault, we need new language that identifies what consent actually means…… “Freely Given, Knowledgeable, and Informed Agreement.” And each state or territory needs a statute that unequivocally states, “Nonconsensual sex is sexual assault.”
Penal Code definitions AND provisions need to work in unison in order to make sense. Having one without the other is an ineffective non-starter.
The solution’s not rocket science. It’s plain and simple. It’s been ignored for centuries because our laws reflected the concepts that women, the largest share of sexual assault victims, were chattel. Their virtue was a commodity owned by someone other than them. What happened to them, as second class citizens, was irrelevant. Because few actually examined our laws and researched the misconceptions that enables rape in our present society, nothing substantive has been done about it.
I’ve researched our laws….It’s time for a change!
Your Consent – The Key to Conquering Sexual Assault conveys the issues in plain language. Whether you’re a legislator, an educator, a judge, juror, or simply a concerned person, you can easily understand the message it conveys. This book can make a world of difference, and YOU can help make that happen!
Please get your copy today!
Please provide a comment and a rating!
Please help this work get noticed by the mainstream. It costs less than lunch money and can make the world safer for you, your children, and your children’s children.
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 October 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.
Can’t sing but would like to help…..
Your contribution will enable us to broadcast this contest to a wider audience and make a 2nd and 3rd place prize possible. Here’s a PayPal link for your contribution of any amount or simply inquire at firstname.lastname@example.org. No contribution is required for anyone to participate in this contest.