Sexual assault ruling needs clarifying

No means no. At least it does now. In an article recently published by the Chicago Sun-Times, a 1985 California appeals court ruled that when a woman consented to sexual intercourse, she was not allowed to change her mind. However, the state’s Supreme Court has reversed the ruling, causing ripples in legislative pools across the country.

In a recent court case, an underage male and female engaged in sexual intercourse. While having sex, the female decided she wanted to stop; however, it took almost a minute and a half for the male to honor her request.

Was this sexual assault?

The Supreme Court ruling in the case found that when either individual participating in intercourse decides to stop, the other must honor his or her wish. The only dissenting judge on the court questioned what the stopping point would be: immediately, or at a determined point after he or she doesn’t want to continue. Legislatures are trying to figure out how to answer this question.

Without insulting the standard rule of decency, if a person wishes to stop having intercourse, it should end immediately, regardless of if it was consensual in the beginning.

By allowing individuals a grace period to wrap it up, we ignore the true definition of sexual assault. A person shouldn’t be given the option of not stopping immediately.

Setting a withdrawal time for those participating in sex that is no longer consensual opens up a can of worms that will create more trouble in court rooms and in relationships everywhere.

If an individual says no, whether it be from the beginning or during, anyone who continues and disregards the respect and integrity of his or her partner commits sexual assault, plain and simple. Regardless of whether two individuals have had consensual intercourse tens or even hundreds of times, a simple “no” should be enough to put it all to an end.

University Wire — Northern Illinois University