A report released on Thursday by the Fayetteville Observer uncovered that it is not illegal for someone to continue engaging in intercourse even after their partner backs out.
The paper cited a recent example of when a 19-year-old woman began having sex with a male partner at a party. Although she was willing at first, when the sex allegedly became violent, she told the man to stop.
Even though she believed the act was rape, when she reported it to police, she was told it was not rape.
“It’s really stupid,” the woman told the Fayetteville Observer. “If I tell you 'no' and you kept going, that’s rape.”
The current law, which was affirmed after a 1979 court case, limits what prosecutors can do.
“Prosecutors can only do what the law allows them to do,” attorney Anne Munch told the Observer, “so when consent is withdrawn by the victim and the sex act continues by the offender, the current state of your law appears to categorize this as noncriminal.”
Incidents like the one cited by the Observer is prompting a response from state lawmakers.
The state's senate has proposed Senate Bill 553, which would make it illegal. The bill is currently held up in committee.
“There’s no reason for this to be partisan,” bill sponsor Jeff Jackson told the paper. “It’s about doing what’s obviously right.. North Carolina is the only state in U.S. where no doesn’t mean no..”
To see the Observer's full report, click here.