By: Kali Tiernan
Consent happens when one person freely agrees to participate in a sexual activity. Oftentimes you can give consent by word or action, such as saying yes or nodding your head. Additionally, an individual can remove consent at any time during a sexual act. Many people would agree with this definition of consent, so why do we keep talking about it?
Recently, a Minnesota court overturned a sex crime conviction because the victim was voluntarily intoxicated. The victim did not give consent and was raped, yet the Minnesota court overturned the rapist’s conviction. The court overturned the conviction as the prosecution argued that since the victim was voluntarily intoxicated, it didn’t meet the threshold for mentally incapacitated. Whether someone consumes alcohol or drugs voluntarily should not dictate if a perpetrator is held accountable for their actions.
Please click here for more information about this ruling from the New York Times.
Due to this ruining, Rep. Kelly Moller decided to sponsor a bill that redefines mentally incapacitated for rape victims. This would expand the definition of mentally incapacitated to those “under the influence of an intoxicating substance to a degree that renders them incapable of consenting.” This change would make it easier for perpetrators to face felony charges. The bill has passed in the MN House and is currently being considered in the MN Senate.
To read more about the proposed bill, click here for more information from the StarTribune.
Here at Between Us, we would like to show our support of victims of sexual assault and voice our agreement in expanding the definition of mentally incapacitated for rape victims.