September 18, NY- Flanked by a jubilant Mira Sorvino and Julianne Moore of #TimesUp, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo signed extensions to the statute of limitations for reporting rape crimes throughout NY State. First degree rape victims have no statute of limitations. Second and third degree rape victims will have 20 and 10 years respectively.
Mira Sorvino made a heartfelt statement thanking the Governor but overlooking the most obvious and transformative change that’s still needed to actually conquer sexual assault….. enacting the correct definition for #Consent into the laws of New York: “Freely Given, Knowledgeable and Informed Agreement, #FGKIA!” Continue reading Cuomo & #TimesUp Extend Limitations on Rape Cases→
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”→
He was the man of her dreams all right….. a six foot tall, outrageously handsome, charismatic, charming, and intelligent nightmare!
For a twenty-something back in the early 70’s, there was no literature or common knowledge about character disorder. No one warned that sexual predators could con you without giving off the slightest glimmer of suspicion….. that they have no sense of remorse and can rip your heart and your life to shreds without batting an eye!
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!
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!
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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.
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.
Today, January 17, 2019, marks a day I’ve long awaited! The very first meaningful rape by fraud/deception/impersonation bill was introduced to Indiana’s House of Representatives this morning. HB 1584 was identified in a condensed reading by House Speaker Brian C. Bosna. It was authored by Rep. Donna Schaibley and supported by former Indiana State Representative, Sally Siegrist. Continue reading Indiana Launches Effort to Criminalize Rape by Deception!→
July 30- Today’s court date for Harvey Weinstein has been postponed ’til September 20th.
What will happen then?
Superior Court Justice Jame Burke will deliver his decisions on motions that have been filed “off-calendar” by the prosecution and the defense. Those motions could include a decision to admit evidence of “prior bad acts” into testimony.
New York judges are held to narrower constraints than in Pennsylvania, where admitting testimony from prior victims turned the tide against Bill Cosby.
The impact of consent
If NY’s laws defined consent as “freely given, knowledgeable and informed agreement, #FGKIA,” convicting Harvey Weinstein would be a slam dunk! But in NY, like many other states, prosecutors are held to convincing the jury that the offender’s conduct meets specific language for a particular act that has been legislated as “without consent” in penal code. This narrow approach makes it difficult to prove whether a sexual assault took place…. not because the case lacks evidence, but because the law simply fails to define the specific type of sexual assault that occurred. Coercing a person into acquiescence should never be seen as “consent” in our laws.
A similar current case in Manhattan could provide clues to Harvey Weinstein’s fate
Neurologist Ricardo Cruciani is scheduled for a decision on motions on August 2nd. He, like Weinstein, is charged with Predatory Sexual Assault, which carries harsh penalties under NY State law.
Cruciani stands accused by six patients of molesting and sexually assaulting them at his office at Beth Israel Hospital in NYC. One patient described that she felt helpless to resist his attacks because she suffered from chronic pain. He was the only doctor who’d helped manage her pain for several years. Eleven other patients at his practices in PA and NJ made similar claims against him. Supreme Court Justice Mark Dwyer will announce his decisions on the Cruciani motions on Thursday, August 2nd.
For more information on how consent impacts sexual assault…. watch this TEDx Talk.
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!
Amid shouts of “Hey-hey, ho-ho, Donald Trump has gotta go!” and “Trump is not my President, You’re fired White House resident!” throngs of women, men and children wound our way through the streets of midtown Manhattan yesterday. The sea of hopeful faces marched forward in solidarity with hope for renewed political integrity and equality for all mankind.
While I try to refrain from comparing anyone’s pain to the harm experienced by others, recent political impacts have helped me recognize how struggling through injustice with no possible relief makes people feel invisible. Hearing hate speech and seeing sexual dysfunction from institutions we relied on as the source of decency, cuts deeply into our collective self esteem. It was uplifting to travel together, surrounded by those who embraced morality and humanity, even if only for four hours.
The sight of the Trump Hotel inspired my sense of irony as I invited my favorite New York State Assembly Member, Rebecca Seawright, to join me in holding up my poster: CONSENT = #FGKIA, Freely Given, Knowledgeable and Informed Agreement. I pray we can see these words indelibly inscribed into the penal code of NY and every state before we march again in 2019!
You can help by calling your legislators to demand that they make it happen! #FGKIA can be the solution for #MeToo, #TimesUp and the gross confusion over sexual assault and sexual harassment that enables sexual predators like Weinstein, Cosby, Moore and Trump to go unpunished. It can end the invisibility that sex crimes create in a world blinded by ignorance!
Call your legislator and say, #FGKIA – Sign it into law today!