WTF: Men In This State Can Legally Finish Sex Even If Woman Revokes Consent

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Men Can Legally Finish Sex Even If Woman Revokes Consent
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Utterly terrifying.

In North Carolina, there is no turning back for women who consent to sex. That’s right, if you’re a woman in this southern state, you can’t legally force a man off of you if you’ve already agreed to do the deed.

According to the law, a man can’t be convicted of rape if a woman initially agrees to have sex with him and then changes her mind. There’s no better case to illustrate this than the 1977 trial, State V. Way.

In this case, Beverly Hester testified that Donnie Way sexually assaulted her, threatening to beat her if she didn’t have sex with him in their friend’s apartment. When Hester tried to leave the room, she was slapped in the face by Way.

She told the court that he forced her to give him oral sex and penetrated her anally, continuing on to have sex with her despite her pleas for him to stop. After complaining of stomach pains, Way eventually stopped, but Hester later told her mother that she was raped.

During the trial, the jury decided that Way was guilty of second-degree rape because although Hester consented, the intercourse turned violent and was no longer consensual. However, when the trial made its way to the state Supreme Court, the jury there disagreed, saying, "If the actual penetration is accomplished with the woman's consent, the accused is not guilty of rape, although he may be guilty of another crime because of his subsequent actions."

For the last 38 years after this Supreme Court decision, North Carolina women are unable to revoke consent to sex legally.

Aaliyah Palmer, a 19-year-old, is an example of someone who wasn’t able to take legal action when the man she agreed to have sex with at a party got violent and essentially raped her.

Senator Jeff Jackson, a Democrat, filed a bill on March 30th that would change this law, following a similar bill filed in 2015.

The bill reads: "a person may withdraw consent to engage in vaginal intercourse in the middle of the intercourse, even if the actual penetration is accomplished with consent and even if there is only one act of vaginal intercourse."

While the North Carolina rape law is currently sitting in the Senate’s Rule Of Committee, Jackson doesn’t believe much will be done.

He says, "North Carolina is the only state in the country where no doesn't really mean no. Right now, if a woman tells a man to stop having sex he is under no legal obligation to do so, as long as she initially consented. If sex turns violent, the woman has no right to tell the man he must stop."

Unfortunately, this loophole in the North Carolina rape law is not known to many legislators. Jackson says that many officials are surprised to find out that it even exists. While his bill may be ignored this time around, he plans on trying again and thinks that it should have no problem passing in the future.

What’s even scarier is that most states see this entire topic as a gray area, without there being any hard laws against it. Illinois is the only state that actually has a law saying that it’s considered rape if someone consents, revokes their consent, and then is still penetrated.

I hope that North Carolina legislators can see how ludicrous their law is and put an end to it. Because otherwise, that’s a huge step back for women around the world. 

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