"Yes Means Yes" Sexual Assault Policy Is Now Law For Every New York College

Last year, all public universities in the state of New York adopted the affirmative-consent sexual-assault policy, shortly after California passed a similar law.

Also known as "yes means yes," the standard defines sexual consent between people as a "knowing, voluntary and mutual decision among all participants to engage in sexual activity." In other words: consent is active, not passive. Not saying "no" is not consent.

Yesterday, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill into law that expands this policy to all private universities in New York State, too, reports The New York Times.

"A woman isn't going to be made to feel guilty or complicit or fearful if she goes forward," he said at New York University, addressing a crowd of the bill's supporters. "We're not going to allow the schools to cover it up anymore. Those days are over."

The law also requires colleges to distribute a "victim's bill of rights," which informs students of their reporting rights following an incidence of sexual violence, thereby creating uniformity — and more accuracy — when campuses report an assault to the state.

We're proud that New York is setting an example for the rest of the country — let's just hope it spreads.

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