A woman from Wake County, North Carolina is fighting to change a state law that says women cannot revoke consent during sex.
At the center of the case is Amy Guy, who says her estranged husband showed up at her home drunk and demanding sex. Amy consented to sex because she felt it “was the safer thing for me to do.”
After things turned violent, Amy pleaded with her estranged husband to stop, but he refused to end the sexual encounter.
Amy’s husband, Jonathan Wayne Guy, was first charged with second-degree rape, but due to a North Carolina law, his charges were reduced to a misdemeanor assault on a female.
The North Carolina Supreme Court in 1979 ruled that a woman cannot revoke consent after sex begins.
Jonathan pleaded guilty to the charges, and is now serving ten months in jail.
“I was devastated,” said Amy. “I didn’t understand how that could be because I knew I had been raped. I don’t understand how the law can say that I wasn’t.”
Many state prosecutors feel the law is archaic and needs to be repealed.
“We firmly believe that people should have the right to revoke their consent,” said Lorrin Freeman, Wake County District Attorney.
Amy’s attorney, Kristopher Hilscher, said in the state of North Carolina, no doesn’t always mean “no.”
“If you don’t say no right at the outset, you can’t say no later. We fully believe Amy was raped, but the law didn’t help her,” said Hilscher.
Senator Jeff Jackson (D-Mecklenburg) has sponsored Senate Bill 553, legislation aimed at changing the draconian law. But the bill never got a hearing in the Senate and is not likely to make progress in the two-year legislative session.
Jackson said he intends to continue introducing legislation until the law is changed.
“We’re the only state in the country where no doesn’t mean no,” said Jackson.