Bill Seeks To Protect The Sexual Rights Of Women
Democratic State Senator Jeff Jackson of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, has sponsored a bill that would protect the sexual rights of women. The bill would make it a crime to continue sexual intercourse after a woman withdraws contest, no matter how far the interaction has gone. Currently, there is a “crazy loophole”, he says, in the state law that denies justice to women who do so. Senate Bill 553, currently being held in the Senate’s Rules Committee, would have the effect of overturning a 1979 North Carolina Supreme Court decision in the case, State vs Way, which contended the women cannot revoke consent after the act begins. The bill would make it a criminal offense to continue.
“North Carolina is the only state in the U.S. where no doesn’t mean no,” Jackson said. He adds that several women have approached him alleging they withdrew consent, but he has been unable to help. However, Jackson believes the bill will probably be held up at least for the rest of the two-year legislative session.
Cited in the paperwork are two specific cases in which women claimed to have been denied the justice they deserve due to the current law. They alleged they withdrew consent after things turned violent. One of the women, Aaliyah Palmer, was at a party when a man pulled her aside for sex. She was initially willing, but soon became very scared. She said the man tried to pull out chunks of her hair. She screamed for him to stop, but he refused. “Ms. Palmer stated that while attending the party, she and (the man) began to engage in consensual sex that turned rough,” the court affidavits said. She returned the next day to retrieve a pair of boots she’d accidentally left behind, but someone at the party had defecated in them.
The man ended up making and distributing two videos of them having sex to four soldiers, including a captain. “You would think I could trust people in the Army,” Palmer said, but she felt officials didn’t protect her at all. “I didn’t know who in this crowd saw the video,” Palmer said. “I was bawling my eyes out.” She was humiliated by the whole ordeal. Palmer completed a rape kit, but but felt like she couldn’t do much about it after learning that she was limited by the fact that she had initially consented to the act. “The rape kit took hours,” Palmer said. “Having that done was terrible and all for nothing.” The man was eventually hit with peeping Tom charges for the video along with some images he had in his possession, but could not be tried for rape. “It’s really stupid,” the teenager, 19, said. “If I tell you no and you kept going, that’s rape.”
Amy Guy’s estranged husband showed up intoxicated at her residence demanding sex. She consented, but the intercourse soon became violent and she asked him to stop. The man was initially charged with second-degree rape. “Amy was the victim of a law in addition to being a victim of rape,” her attorney, Kristopher Hilscher, said. “It’s had a chilling effect on prosecutions.” Guy added herself, “Prosecutors can only do what the law allows them to do, so when consent is withdrawn by the victim and the sex act continues by the offender, the current state of your law appears to categorize this as noncriminal.” Unfortunately, she was forced to accept that the current law can’t protect her and her ex would not be convicted as she felt he deserved. “There’s no reason for this to be partisan,” Jackson said of the bill sponsorship. “It’s about doing what’s obviously right.”