Essentially, the burden shifts from the accuser having to prove an assault took place and to the accused having to explain how they knew they had permission for a sexual encounter.
The House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a bill late Thursday that requires colleges and universities in Connecticut to use a standard of “affirmative consent” when developing policies on sexual assault.
The reported expulsion of a former Yale men’s basketball captain for alleged sexual misconduct that he disputes — and the team’s apology as teammates balance personal loyalty with support for “a healthy, safe and respectful campus climate”— can raise awareness at universities and beyond.
Co-sponsors of a bill that would require all Connecticut colleges and universities to adopt an affirmative-consent policy for sexual assault investigations say they will reintroduce the legislation next year. The law would change the way schools investigate sexual assault complaints by shifting the burden of proof to the accused to show the sexual activity was consensual.
The Senate voted overwhelmingly late Tuesday to establish an affirmative-consent threshold in cases of sexual assault on all college and university campuses in Connecticut.