LANSING, Mich. — State Senator Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D–East Lansing) announced revised legislation aimed at preventing sexual assault on college campuses by educating young adults about sexual assault, dating violence, bystander invention techniques and affirmative consent.
“College-aged women are four times more likely than any other age group to face sexual assault,” Sen. Hertel said. “When we send our kids off to college, we should worry about their grades and how they are going to pay for their books, not if they will be sexually assaulted.”
The legislation, Senate Bill 620, would require Michigan schools that choose to teach sex education to have a more robust conversation about sexual assault, dating violence, and bystander intervention. The bill would also require the teaching of affirmative consent as a component of a healthy and non-violent relationship, and it:
Clarifies that silence and lack of resistance do not constitute consent;
That consent can be rescinded at any point during the sexual encounter; and,
That the existence of a dating relationship between two people doesn’t imply consent.
“We need to expand our teaching beyond ‘NO means NO’ and ‘sexual assault is wrong.’ We need to teach that healthy relationships, by definition, require respect, understanding boundaries and obtaining consent,” said Kathy Hagenian, executive policy director of the Michigan Collation to End Domestic and Sexual Violence. “Educating teens about consent and open communication in regards to physical intimacy in relationships does not promote sexual activity — in fact, research and experience shows the opposite is true.”
“I am proud to have worked with First Lady Sue Snyder’s Office and Debi Cain, the Executive Director of the Michigan Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention & Treatment Board on this important legislation.” Sen. Hertel said.
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