A new bill proposed by a North Carolina senator has recently brought the state’s existing and terrifyingly archaic laws surrounding sexual assault to light. In March, Senator Jeff Jackson introduced a new bill that allows women to revoke consent at any time during vaginal intercourse, “even if the actual penetration is accomplished with consent,” According to Jackson’s proposed bill, any person “who continues the act of vaginal intercourse after consent is withdrawn is deemed to have committed the act of vaginal intercourse by force and against the will of the other person.”
Because of a 1979 court case, the Supreme Court of North Carolina decided that “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.”
The court had decided in that case that while consent can be withdrawn, it was only illegal if there had been “more than one act of intercourse.”
The Fayetteville Observer recently reported on 19 year old Aaliyah Palmer, who had initially consented to sex with a man, tried telling him to stop after the sex turned violent and he started pulling out her hair. She later found out when she tried to report the case, that because of the existing North Carolina laws, a woman is not allowed to revoke consent once the act has started.
Sen. Jackson told The Fayetteville Observer, “Legislators are hearing more and more about women who have been raped and are being denied justice because of this crazy loophole.” According to Jackson, “North Carolina is the only state in the U.S. where ‘no’ doesn’t mean ‘no’.”