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San Francisco -

A new California bill is attempting to combat the scourge of sexual assault on college campuses by requiring explicit verbal or written approval before sexual activity.

According to the LA Weekly, the California Senate recently approved the bill, which would require “an affirmative, unambiguous and conscious decision by each participant to engage in mutually agreed-upon sexual activity”.

The bill states that informed consent cannot be granted if the complainant was asleep, unconscious, or incapacitated due to the effects of drugs, alcohol or medication.

The bill comes amid federal investigations of several top California colleges, including the highly rated University of California, Berkeley, which are alleged to have mishandled allegations of sexual abuse.

Last week, a student at the University of California Santa Barbara killed six students in a rampage fuelled by feelings of sexual violence towards women.

The bill would also require all college campuses to adopt a uniform policy “concerning sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking”.

Schools that fail to adhere to the policy would not be eligible to receive state funds for student financial assistance.

The bill passed the state Senate on May 29 and now goes to California's lower chamber for approval. - Sapa-dpa