Sexual Assault Prevention Legislation
SACRAMENTO, CA – With bi-partisan support, the Assembly today approved SB 695 (De León/Jackson), aimed at preventing sexual assault by providing formal education to high school students about affirmative consent, developing healthy peer and dating relationships, and the perils and harsh consequences of aggressive and violent sexual behavior.
“By teaching our youth about affirmative consent and healthy relationships, we can build a foundation for safer schools and streets for years to come,” said Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles).
Assemblymember Rocky Chávez (R-Oceanside), who presented SB 695 on the Assembly floor (VIDEO), said the Legislature should not be satisfied with simply the implementation of SB 967. “California must continue to lead the nation in educating our young people – both women and men – about the importance of respect and maintaining healthy peer and dating relationships,” Assemblymember Chávez said.
Jointly authored by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, SB 695 was inspired by the first-in-the-nation “Yes Means Yes” bill, SB 967 (De León/Jackson, 2014), which addressed the growing problem of sexual assault on college campuses. SB 967 which required college campuses to adopt consistent survivor-centered sexual assault response policies and protocols that follow best practices and professional standards for prevention, access to resources, and fair adjudication proceedings.
California Legislative Women’s Caucus Chair Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) said, “If we want to prevent sexual assault, it’s important that we start early. This bill will ensure that discussions about healthy relationships and consent are taking place in high school, with young women and young men, so we can help establish boundaries of acceptable behavior, give students the skills they may need to navigate difficult situations, and prevent sexual assault before it occurs.”
Sofie Karasek, Director of Education and Co-founder of End Rape on Campus said, "Educating students about consent, respect, and healthy relationships is vital to eradicating sexual violence on campuses and beyond, and I hope that other states will follow suit.”
Between 1995 and 2013, women between18-24 experienced the highest rate of rape and sexual assault. Of those attending college, 80 percent knew their assailants.
SB 695 now returns to the Senate for a final floor vote and, if approved, heads to the Governor’s desk for consideration.