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Saed Hill, a speaker from Planned Parenthood, came to Feminist Club last Monday to educate students about the legalities of sexual assault and consent.
“I wanted someone to come and talk about sexual assault, but he turned it into a consent thing,” co-founder, Ellie Van Gorden said. “Which I thought was great because it was interesting to see that in a room full of people who advocate for that, people still had questions.”
Hill is the education and outreach coordinator at Planned Parenthood. He teaches comprehensive sex ed, which focuses on making sure students understand what is being taught. He also educates people about what goes into sexual decision making, healthy relationships, abusive relationships and many other topics.
“I’m not just coming here to talk to you about anatomy and puberty and weird stuff like that, right?” Hill said at the meeting. “I’m talking to you comprehensibly about what goes into making sexual decision making.”
According to the U.S. Department of Justice’s 2014 National Crime Victimization Survey, there is an average of 293,066 victims rape or sexual assault victims age 12 or older each year.
There are four things that are required for sex to be legal – age of consent, sobriety, an enthusiastic yes and the actual cognitive ability to say yes.
“The age of consent means the age where a person can legally consent to any kind of sexual activity,” Hill said. The age of consent in Kansas and Missouri is 16 and 17, respectively.
Hill explained that in order for sexual activity to be legal, one’s mind can’t be altered in a very significant way, and consent cannot occur if the partakers are drunk or high. An enthusiastic verbal yes is also required, meaning those involved must voice in some way that they are comfortable with whatever activity is about to happen.
“What you want to make sure, when you’re talking about something like sexual activity is if you’re going to engage in any kind of sexual activity, we want you two to be comfortable enough with each other to communicate if you want something to happen or not to happen,“ Hill said.
The last requirement is that the partakers must possess the cognitive ability to say yes. They must have the mental capacity to say yes, and mean it, verbally.
“I would love for [Hill] to come speak to the entire school because a lot of people turn their noses up at Planned Parenthood without even recognizing what they do as an organization”, feminist club member Lauren Cole said.
Van Gorden is currently in contact with Principal McKinney about having Hill give a presentation in front of a larger group of students.
“I really like to have guest speakers because it shows people it doesn’t just stop here,” Van Gorden said. “We’re trying to show people that you can take this into your life, you can make a career out of this. You can advocate for women’s rights as long as you want.”