I was honored to be a speaker at this year’s Women’s March NYC, and was overwhelmed by the audience support for the Consent Accountability Rhyme.
Anyone, at any age, can learn and understand what “consent” means. This poem makes the definition for consent crystal clear. It is part of the Your Consent for Kids YouTube cartoon that every parent should watch with their children to grow a Consent Aware generation! As well, sex education classes can include it in their programs. It’s free!
We’ve had Generation X, Y and Z. Let’s create Generation “Consent Aware” for our developing kids!
Consent Accountability Rhyme
The words, “You Can,” mean “I consent.”
You say so with your voice.
But it’s not consent when you’re forced, or tricked,
Codifying CONSENT into law is the critical key to conquering sexual assault! Yet no US state or territory actually defines the noun, CONSENT in its laws. How can we know what the verb “to consent” means without knowing what the noun, “consent,” actually means?
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.
Little by little, the concept that deceiving someone about conduct involving their reproductive organs is a crime is seeping into society’s consciousness. This past Wednesday, Texas Gov. Greg Wiley took a giant step forward that brings this critical issue to light by signing Senate Bill #1259 into law. It becomes effective on September 1.
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!
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.”
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.
HB 1584, the bill to address a gaping, rape loophole in Indiana’s laws – the one that failed to convict Donald Grant Ward of sexual assault – will not see the light of day in the 2019 legislative session.
Grant Ward, as his friends call him, climbed into the upper bunk where a female student was fast asleep in her boyfriend’s dark, dorm room at Purdue University. She awakened because she felt her breast being touched, and then… he sexually penetrated her.
Ward knew he was tricking her into thinking he was her boyfriend. He admitted so to the police. He was arrested for rape, He was acquitted on the basis that his conduct was not a crime in Indiana’s laws. To add insult to the already egregious injury he and the jury’s decision caused the victim, the judge expunged his criminal record.
Ward’s attorney, Kirk Freeman, exploited the weakness in Indiana’s laws by defending his client’s conduct and by preening about his behavior; referring to him as “my boy” like a proud papa. His attitude exemplifies the patriarchy that perpetuates rape mentality and continues, unabated, in Indiana.
Indiana’s laws say nothing about the type of sexual assault Ward conducted. Nor do they say anything about the definition of consent. This failure could have, and should have, been corrected in this legislative session. It won’t be. How many additional victims must be raped before Indiana’s legislators see the light?
What does this legislative failure say about safety in Indiana’s colleges and universities?
Personally, if I had a daughter, the very last place I’d send her off to school right now would be Indiana. While Purdue, Notre Dame, and Indiana State enjoy high rankings in educational excellence, I’d be horrified that the Indiana legislature showed gross disregard toward protecting my child, and concerned she could suffer a similar fate…….. with absolutely no accountability or justice. (And BTW- rape can happen to our sons as well as our daughters.) Given a choice, I’d be looking at universities in states where my child would be protected by appropriate laws.
As if this incident at Purdue were not enough to convince me to educate my child elsewhere, Purdue is currently being sued for expelling two students for reporting sexual assaults.
Some other states to consider
The Hon. Mandy Powers Norrell, South Carolina State Representative, is currently undertaking to protect the residents of her state from Ward’s behavior and further incidents of sexual assault. Her bill, H 3829, is pending in her state.
Alabama and Tennessee have existing laws that make Ward’s behavior a crime. Both laws are identified in my most recent book, Your Consent – The Key to Conquering Sexual Assault, which shows the consent provisions from coast to coast, explains why rape by fraud is a crime, and clearly defines how “consent” should be expressed in each and every state across the US and around the world.
What your raped daughter or son could face – for the rest of their lives
No matter what form of rape a person is subjected to, rape never leaves their psyche. Rape invades the most private part of a victim’s being and pollutes even the most remote corner of their mind. It takes a great deal of effort and therapy to learn to compartmentalize defilement into a part of one’s brain where it no longer interferes with daily functioning. Even once a survivor makes peace with what happened, they can be plagued with recurring suicidal ideation, depression and interpersonal dysfunction for life.
As a rape survivor, I, and millions of other survivors, have good reason to feel re-victimized by the oversight of Indiana’s legislators. While Donald Ward’s conduct harmed one victim, the legislative decision to ignore HB1584 failed millions of present, past, and future rape victims. Failure to pass this important bill lets the copy-cat out of the bag because it tells sexual predators that there are no consequences for conducting the heinous defilement of rape by fraud or impersonation in Indiana.
Society and our lawmakers must be clear on what consent really means in order to conquer sexual assault! Please register for this booklet today! Together we can fight sexual assault and make the world a safer place!
Every nickel from the proceeds of this book’s sales will be used to fight for sexual assault laws!
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!
I received the following message from a very intelligent Blue Grass State resident (with a PhD.) We’ll call her Pamela. She discovered she was hitched to a narcissist after a 40 year marriage that produced four children.
On Friday, 5/12/17, in Kansas City MO, Mario Antoine, sex scammer, pleaded guilty. Both his and the federal attorney agreed to a sentence of 10 years, as he pleaded guilty to wire fraud and avoided up to 60 years confinement on all charges.
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, in a CBC News article, stated that only about 10% of romance scams actually get reported to the police. If that’s the case, the losses of $99 million in Canada’s reported romance scam cases actually exceed hundreds of millions! They also calculate the average monetary loss per victim to be approximately $25,000.00. The FBI’s figures in the US top a billion dollars per year! Continue reading March is Fraud Awareness Month!→
Please help support this effort! Watch the video and pre-register for your copy today!
By doing so, you’ll help put an end to cases like that of William Allen Jordan and Mario Antoine who shamelessly prey on victims for non-consensual sex. This crime harms millions of innocent lives each day. Together, we can make it stop!
Federal Prosecutors described alleged sex scammer, Mario Ambrose Antoine as a “serial rapist” and put a current case of Rape by Fraud center stage in main stream media! The case was filed with 6 complainants but 25 additional woman have stepped forward since the Kansas City Star went public with the information on Monday. If you were harmed by this man, contact the Kansas City MO office of the FBI at 816-512-8200.