Santa Fe – Today, the House Education Committee passed a bill to add consent language to the state’s sexual education curriculum. House Bill 133, sponsored by Rep. Elizabeth “Liz” Thomson (D-Albuquerque), would require public schools and public post-secondary educational institutions to adopt policies and procedures addressing affirmative consent and prevention of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.

According to the 2017 New Mexico Youth Risk & Resilience Survey of New Mexico high school students, 8 percent reported being physically forced to have sexual intercourse, 9.9 percent reported experiencing sexual violence at least once in the past twelve months, and 11 percent experienced physical dating violence at least once in the past twelve months. Sexual violence has significant health, social, and economic costs for individuals and communities. Protecting New Mexico’s youth by reducing sexual violence is important both now and for the future.

“This bill protects our young people by teaching them how to establish healthy boundaries,” said Rep. Elizabeth “Liz” Thomson. “By making consent a priority, we are changing cultural norms and raising a generation of New Mexicans that not only recognize consent, but also understand the seriousness of violating someone else’s boundaries. This is an important step in reducing sexual assault and harassment.”

House Democrats know that adding consent standards to our state’s sexual education curriculum would benefit our young people profoundly and would help to raise a generation of strong and successful New Mexicans. HB 133 now moves to the House Floor for consideration.