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“Consent” isn’t in Colorado’s sexual assault law. Lawmakers hope to change that.

While all the witnesses, including survivors and survivor advocates, at the committee praised the proposed language as a necessary modernization, some wanted to go further with the provision about “knowing the victim does not consent.” Elizabeth Newman, public policy director for the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault, wanted it to include situations where the perpetrator should have known the victim didn’t consent.

“Too many claims of ‘I didn’t know that they didn’t consent’ get in the way of survivors actually seeing justice,” Newman said during testimony. “Nevertheless, this change is a huge improvement.”

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