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House Committee Passes ‘Only Yes Means Yes’ Bill

on January 26, 2019 - 12:40pm
SANTA FE The House Health and Human Services Committee passed the bill Friday to add consent language to the state’s sexual education curriculum.
House Bill 133, sponsored by Rep. Elizabeth “Liz” Thomson (D-Albuquerque), would require public schools and public post-secondary educational institutions to adopt policies and procedures addressing affirmative consent and prevention of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.
According to the 2017 New Mexico Youth Risk & Resilience Survey of New Mexico high school students, 8 percent reported being physically forced to have sexual intercourse, 9.9 percent reported experiencing sexual violence at least once in the past twelve months, and 11 percent experienced physical dating violence at least once in the past twelve months. Sexual violence has significant health, social, and economic costs for individuals and communities. Protecting New Mexico’s youth by reducing sexual violence is important both now and for the future.
“With all of the conversation around sexual assault, we need to ensure that our young people have the resources they need to make the best decisions for themselves and their bodies. This is a health issue, and we have a responsibility to teach consent as the basis for any sexual activity, so we can work together to prevent sexual assault,” Rep. Elizabeth “Liz” Thomson said. “Only yes means yes.”
House Democrats know that adding consent standards to our state’s sexual education curriculum would benefit our young people profoundly and would help to raise a generation of strong and successful New Mexicans. HB 133 now moves to the House Education Committee for consideration.