Illinois bill defines consent for sex education classes

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Capitol building in Springfield, Illinois.

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – An Illinois lawmaker has proposed legislation that aims to provide a more comprehensive definition of consent for sex education classes in the state.

The State Journal-Register reports that the bill defines consent as “a freely given agreement to sexual activity.” The bill directs schools to use the definition when discussing consent, since current state law doesn’t offer a specific definition.

The bill also states that the way a person is dressed doesn’t imply consent, that consent for a past sexual activity doesn’t apply to future activities and that consent can be withdrawn at any time.

Democratic Rep. Ann Williams says she’s sponsoring the measure because she saw a lack of discussion regarding consent as officials looked to address sexual assault.

Sexual violence prevention advocates say the more detailed definition will help students better understand boundaries.

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