Lawmakers Hear Testimony on ‘Yes Means Yes' Sex Assault Bill

State lawmakers heard testimony Tuesday on a bill to establish "affirmative consent" as the threshold in campus investigations of sexual assault.

The bill would create an understanding that consent would be and "active, clear and voluntary agreement" by a person to engage in sexual activity.

All public and private state universities would be subject to the law if it were to pass.

A similar bill passed the State Senate last year, but was never voted on in the State House of Representatives before the end of the legislative session.

Sen. Mae Flexer (D-Killingly) and State Rep. Gregory Haddad (D-Mansfield) introduced the bill this year.

Among those who spoke at Tuesday's hearing was Mark Ojakian, President of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system. In a statement, he said:

“When it comes to the safety and well-being of our students we simply cannot be overly diligent. We are united at CSCU to improve prevention, education, response, and support services. Further still, we are committed to not just providing a safe campus, but in fostering a campus culture that actively acknowledges and confronts the realities of rape, sexual assault and intimate partner violence on our campuses and in our communities. I strongly urge the support of this bill, which brings a standard definition of affirmative consent to higher education institutions across our state.”

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