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How 'yes means yes' defines sexual assault

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Posted at 9:24 AM, Sep 29, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-29 10:24:23-04

"She didn't say no" will no longer cut it as a defense for campus rape in California. The state is now the first in the nation to adopt a so-called "yes means yes" sexual assault rule.

Signed by Gov. Jerry Brown Sunday, the law requires all colleges and universities accepting student financial aid to investigate sexual assault cases under a new standard of affirmative consent.

Affirmative consent is needed from both parties engaged in sexual activity and is defined in the bill as an "affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity." In other words, silence or lack of resistance doesn't signify consent.

It's a subtle, but significant, change in wording the bill's sponsor says will "change the equation so the system is not stacked against survivors."

To learn more about the law, watch this Newsy video.