Errington, Campbell pleased to see General Assembly taking consent seriously

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INDIANAPOLIS – State Representatives Sue Errington (D-Muncie) and Chris Campbell (D-West Lafayette) are pleased that the Legislative Council is taking steps to better protect Hoosier women. Earlier this week, the interim study committee on Courts and Criminal Codes was tasked with exploring the efficacy and impact that defining consent in the Indiana Code would have on the state.

Errington and Campbell, alongside other lawmakers and advocates, have argued that current laws do not adequately define consent. Sex without consent is not alone defined as a crime in the Indiana Code unless there is force, threat of force or incapacitation. The summer study committee comes after bipartisan House Bill 1160, which would have included “consent” for an offense involving a sex crime, died without a hearing this past legislative session.

“One in five Hoosier women will experience sexual assault at some point in their lives,” Errington said. “And each year, many of the people who are responsible for those crimes are not prosecuted due to Indiana’s weak sexual assault laws. However, the decision to seriously study sexual violence in our state and what an updated consent law could do for justice is promising. This is the very least we can do to protect and empower Hoosier women.”

“The decision to study this topic is the first step in updating Indiana's archaic criminal code with a comprehensive definition of consent,” Campbell said. “Countless survivors and advocates have been pushing for this moment, and what they deserve is concrete legislative action this upcoming session.”

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