NC law says women can’t revoke consent once sex is underway

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Thanks to a Supreme Court ruling from 1979, no may not always mean no when it comes to rape in North Carolina.

On Thursday, the Fayetteville Observer published an article about a teenage girl who was at a party when a man pulled her into a bathroom to have sex. She consented, but when things turned violent, she told the man to stop. He kept going.

As it turns out, according to North Carolina law, a woman is not allowed to back out of sex once it is underway.

“It’s really stupid,” she told the newspaper. “If I tell you no and you kept going, that’s rape.”

Now, a Democratic state senator from Mecklenburg County is trying to get the law changed.
Jackson is sponsoring the Senate Bill 553, which would make it illegal to continue sex once the initial consent is withdrawn.

The bill reads in part, “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. The withdrawal of consent must be clearly communicated in a way that a reasonable person would understand to constitute withdrawal of consent.”

The bill now rests in the Senate’s Rules Committee, where Jackson said it likely will be dead for the remainder of the two-year legislative session.