Senator Curtis Hertel feels very strongly about the issue of consent here in Michigan. Strongly enough in fact, that he has introduced a bill in response to the issue, and hopes to change the way consent is taught in Michigan schools.
“Under the current system, my daughter will be taught where not to walk, what not to wear, where not to leave her drink, while my sons will never be taught not to be perpetrators.” Hertel says. And many people agree with him, claiming that the current system favors a lack of responsibility for boys and men, and puts the responsibility for rape and other sex crimes against women on the shoulders of the female portion of the population.
So what does the bill hope to address in Michigan?
Under the new law, schools that teach sex education to students would be required to talk about “affirmative consent” as part of a healthy physical relationship. Affirmative consent is defined as “explicit, informed, and voluntary agreement to participate in a sexual act.” School would also be required to teach that silence doesn’t count as consent, that consent can be given and then taken away at any time (and that the removal must be honored), and the fact that just because two people are in a relationship together, doesn’t mean that consent is implied.
Other issues the bill would require schools to address with students during sex education classes include sexual assault, dating and domestic violence, and bystander intervention. However, for parents who are concerned about what their children may be taught at school, it’s important to know that the bill does not make sex ed mandatory. A school can still choose not to offer sexual education. And if the class if offered, parent still have the right to take their children out of the class.
What issues do the changes hope to address in Michigan?
In the long term, Senator Herschel and others who support his efforts hope to eradicate the so-called “rape culture” that allegedly removes responsibility for sex crimes from men and boys. But in the more immediate sense, the Senator and others who have championed this bill, are hoping that by putting more emphasis on sexual consent, they can reduce the number of sex assault crimes in Michigan, specifically rape.
According to the Michigan State Police website, Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC) 1st Degree is defined as “the sexual intercourse with a person, forcibly and/or against that person’s will; or, not forcibly or against the person’s will where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.” In the most recent annual criminal statistics available for Michigan, there were 3,173 reported rapes, which is a 5% increase from the year before.
Sex crimes are already considered to be a serious issue in Michigan!
Regardless of how one may feel about this bill, the fact of the matter is that forcing someone to have sex with you against their will is illegal in Michigan. Anyone accused of raping someone else (which is prosecuted as First or Third Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct here in Michigan) is looking at decades, if not a lifetime, in prison. So if you or a loved one have been accused of rape, or any other sex crime in Michigan, call The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245 (1 866 7No Jail) and discuss your situation with one of our skilled sex crime defense attorneys. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help for those ready to hire an attorney.