What part of 'no' don't you get
Posted Nov. 10, 2006

Rape laws should be simple; No means no, but for a court in Maryland it’s not.

Up until last week the state’s rape law was considered ambiguous and unclear but an appeals court ruled that the law is clear and that a person may not retract from sex after having consented.

We at the Campus Times think this is taking a step back from the rights women have fought for throughout the years.

Jennifer Pollitt Hill from the Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault said the decision was, “insulting and dangerous,” and we couldn’t agree more.

Is it possible that society has become so desensitized that we can find an excuse for rape?

A “no” should mean a “no” at any point in any situation; especially this one.

Initially consenting to sex is not by any means a legally binding contract that forces you to go through with it.

Since when did having sexual relations become a legal issue?

Picture a person going to court and suing a person for refusing to have sexual relations.

How ridiculous would it sound?

What kind of evidence would you provide?

A recording that documents the five seconds in which you said “yes?”

How about a contract stamped by the public notary?

The issue is not that difficult; no one should be forced to do anything they don’t want to do.

 There are cases when during sexual intercourse one will find out the other appears to be infected with a sexually transmitted disease, will begin to feel pain or will simply feel uncomfortable continuing the act.

In these situations people should have the right say “no.”

Who is to say how uncomfortable the person was feeling but the person himself?

According to the Rape Abuse Incest National Network, an American is sexually assaulted every two and half minutes.

Twenty-eight percent of those assaults result in the violator having a relationship with the victim.

The law in Maryland is not helping the situation.

To the contrary, it is now protecting those sexual offenders who think that they have the right to bring to life whatever deranged fantasies their filthy little minds can think of just because they have some kind of relationship with the person, and the worst thing is, they think they can get away with it.

 This interpretation of the law means two things; one, that sexual predators can easily use the law as an excuse for their actions, by claiming that the victim initially consented to it.

And two, that if somehow a court interpreted the law in such a way, it is likely that the rape law is ambiguous and should be analyzed.

 But maybe next time when the court decides to rework the law they can look at the big picture and think it through. They need to step back and think about what they are actually saying and what kind of consequences it could have.

The decision is much simpler that what they make it seem.

Everyone has the right to change their mind about anything for whatever reason, and sex should not be the exception.

The bottom line is that it is just a matter of respect. Respecting the rights of every individual and treating people like the human beings that they are. It is a simple lesson we all learn as kids and it is not that difficult to understand; No means No.

What part of 'no' don't you get?

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