Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to adopt The Golden State's "Yes means yes" law to combat rape in the state of New York. Cuomo is reportedly concerned with very specific institutions at this time. Recently, he enforced the law on all State University of New York institutions, and he now plans to make a move on private schools.
At a press conference on Thursday, the NY Democrat expressed his concerns on how private colleges and universities in New York State handle matters of sexual assault.
"I believe there are institutions that want to protect their relationships, and don't want the publicity of attacks happening on their campus. This is not a private matter. This is a crime."
Nojay's statement via email read, "Creating a statewide, uniform standard for addressing these issues will be a good step forward. I will support the Governor's proposed legislation if it protects the rights of both the accuser and the accused."
With Governor Cuomo stating that one in four women experiences a sexual attack during their college years, it is no surprise that the SUNY state operated campuses had 238 cases of sexual assault in the 2013-14 academic year. According to Department of Justice statistics, only 20 percent of rape victims actually report their crime, so the number of sexual assaults on SUNY campuses is certain to be higher.
One upside to "Yes Means Yes" becoming a state law, according to one student, is giving sexual assault the weight that it deserves as a criminal act. Emily Hawkins, a Colgate University senior, explained that even after the enforcement of "Yes Means Yes" at SUNY campuses, students still don't follow the protocol.
"Legislation brings legitimacy to these types of things. It seems unnecessary to me to have to legitimize sexual assault prevention, but if law brings legitimacy, then yes, why not throw it on the books."
Governor Andrew Cuomo's support for the "Yes Means Yes" law has also attracted the attention of states like New Hampshire and New Jersey.