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Push to define consent in Indiana continues after lawmakers don't address issue

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Posted at 11:36 PM, Mar 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-05 23:36:34-05

INDIANAPOLIS — House Bill 1160, which would have clearly defined consent for an offense involving a sex crime, did not get a hearing during the legislative session, but lawmakers attended Women4Change's event Thursday pledging they support their cause.

"Go through some of these postcards. It will bring you to your knees. It will bring you to tears," Rima Shahid, executive director of Women4Change, said.

The postcards are part of The Clothesline Project.

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"Currently in Indiana, no doesn't mean no," she said.

In Indiana, sex is considered rape if one party threatens or forces the other to have sex. It is also considered rape if one party is unconscious or incapacitated due to a mental disability.

Shahid said that doesn't go far enough to cover all situations someone could find themselves in where they feel like they were raped, but have no legal recourse.

"As parents, as families, we want to do everything we can to protect our children, and it's unfortunate that the law is not on our side right now," she said.

Domestic violence and sexual assault survivors spoke at the Statehouse, while those who can change the law listened.

"We had a number of lawmakers, men and women from both sides of the aisle that came out to support our initiative," Shahid said. "We're going to continue to gather those postcards so that come January, we can go to our lawmakers and say this is how many postcards we have on behalf of Hoosiers across the state. That'll really send a clear message that we need to pass comprehensive consent legislation."

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