On May 28, 2014, the LA Times published the editorial “Sex and college students: Should the Legislature be in the mix too?” arguing that the legislature might be to wise to stay out of mandating “affirmative consent”, questioning the government’s ability to enforce such a standard. In the final paragraph of the article, it is stated, “And students, especially women, need to be encouraged to speak up to protect themselves, to halt anything they don’t like – and yes, to say no.”
CALCASA deems this suggestion completely inappropriate and believes that, in fact, students are speaking up to “say no” to the institutional structures, norms, policies, and practices that normalize, excuse or tolerate sexual violence. CALCASA believes that society, as a whole, is responsible for changing the culture that perpetuates sexual violence and blames victims based on where they were, what they did or did not do, what they were wearing or some other abstract detail about their sexual history. All systems and community institutions, including the legislature, bare the responsibility to better support survivors.
Click here to download our letter to the Editor. We encourage our members centers to submit a similar letter if so inspired!