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Consider the following story;

Laura appeared to have consented to sex after John partially disrobed her; then decided to halt the intercourse.  She testified three times that she told him she had to go home, and that she’d told him he would not be “doing this” if he really cared about her.  Instead, she said he asked for more time and continued the attempted intercourse for several more minutes.  He didn’t threaten her; but he wouldn’t stop.  The court ruled that Laura’s protestations were enough to constitute withdrawal of consent.  Justice Rogers Brown pointed to issues further courts will need to address regarding conveyance of unwillingness.  But he central point needs no clarification: The burden of proving consensual sex has shifted. 

The following is from my book Redeem The Silence; an Unintended Journey.

” ‘No.” That’s the message a woman needs to convey,” reported the San Jose Mercury News on January 6, 2003.  It is the editorial opinion of the San Jose Mercury News  that this court ruling sends an important message to men.”

Once a woman no longer wants to have sex, at any time she can indicate “no ” and the man must stop, ruled the California Supreme Court on January  6, 2003.  And this remains the ruling even if the woman had agreed, or appeared to agree to the act at the start.  This historic decision in case of date rape creates powerful protection for women and sends an important message to men, reports the Mercury News.

To women, California’s ruling says: You can choose at any point whether to have sexual intercourse; the law is behind you.  To men it says: Just because you’re not using brute force doesn’t mean you have permission; there is no point of no return.  I agree that this ruling is appropriate.  However, it says that sex without consent is violence…… I say that sex without consent is not sex.  It is a violent crime, even when the violence might not be apparent on the outside of the victim.  It is a defining moment in her life, as Dr. Phil would say.  Sex is only sex if it is in fact consensual.

It is a myth that men cannot control themselves.  They can, at any point.  It is also true that women can learn to be wiser and more assertive.


  1. Bob Nielsen says

    I just wanted to echo your comment above about men. There is no excuse for men who say they simply can’t control themselves, and imply that there sex drive is so strong they have to give in…..

    It is the sign of a true man to practice self control, and rather than be controlled by their drives, to use their drives to bless and serve others.

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