San Diego sexual assault attorney Jessica Pride has been in the local media recently supporting the proposed "yes means yes" sexual assault law in California and offering her take on what its approval will mean for college campuses.
If passed, the law would require publicly funded colleges to set consent standards for sex. The "yes means yes" law means that a person initiating sexual behavior must receive a verbal or nonverbal "yes" from the other person before continuing -- a change from the “no means no” adage that typically surrounds discussions about sexual assault. You can read the entire proposed bill here.
Jessica represents victims of sexual assault in civil cases. She believes attackers in these cases should be held responsible. She believes in building up education and understanding about sexual assault on college campuses, and she's spoken to student groups on this subject.
On Aug. 12., Jessica appeared on KUSI News to discuss how the proposed law, SB 967, would require education on campuses, establish protocols for first responders on how to handle sexual assault cases and establish resources readily available for victims.
According to statistics, 73% of sexual assaults are committed by someone who is not a stranger to the victim. Jessica calls for a change in culture among college students to make affirmative consent to sex a part of college culture.
"When the burden is on the victim to prove that they said 'no' or resisted, it’s almost victimizing the victim twice. In this instance, now what’s going to happen is the culture is going to change, because the accused is going to have to prove that they got an affirmative 'yes' before proceeding," Jessica said in a recent interview with KPBS.
She went on to say that affirmative consent is the best way to help combat sexual assaults on campus. The “yes means yes” bill was passed earlier this year by the state Senate, and if it becomes law, California will become the first state with such a standard.
Jessica helps victims seek justice they deserve through the civil court system. She believes that the trauma of sexual assault should not define a victim’s life.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a sexual assault, contact her today to discuss your legal rights and hold the attacker responsible.
photo credit: KPBS
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