Rape Epidemic: How Do You Know That A Woman Consented To Sex?...

Rape Epidemic: How Do You Know That A Woman Consented To Sex? [MUST READ]

Following conversations and advocacy on rape on Due Process Advocates Group on ., two members have asked me privately how to know when a woman consented to sex and when she did not. I have a very simple answer to any man with the same question.

If you do not know whether she consented or not, then it means she did not consent. Do not have sex with a person if you cannot tell whether she likes to have sex with you or not and whether she consented to have sex with you at that particular moment. Any doubt whatsoever means she did not consent. Any resistance or protest means she did not consent.

If she is tipsy because you just came home from the club where she took some alcoholic beverage, it means there is no consent. A person who is drunk or tipsy cannot consent. In fact, if there is anything between you which is likely to prevent her from saying no, then she did not say yes.

So, if she is your employee, she may not be in a position to say no to your advances. So, she did not consent. If she is your student, she cannot consent. If you are a doctor and she is your patient, she cannot consent. If you are a pastor and she is your parishioner, then she cannot consent. And if she cannot consent, any apparent consent from her is no consent.

So, generally, you must avoid having sex with girls who are not in a position to say no. Only a person who could say no can say yes. Those too afraid to say no cannot say yes. Those too stranded to say no, cannot say yes. For instance, you give a girl a ride after a night event and it is too late for her to go home and you are with her in your house, do not ask her to agree to sex or she should leave your house in the middle of the night. If she says yes out of fear of being forced into the street in the middle of night, that is not yes and that is rape.

My advice to each man is to try to go for a woman who is capable of saying no to you, who is not afraid of you, who is not desperately dependent on you. Only such woman can consent to sex. If you are a police officer, for instance, and you are detaining a man in your cell. Do not try to have sex with the sister or mother of the man while he is still in your cell. She may say yes out of fear of what might happen to her brother or son if she said no. That yes is not consent in law. It will be rape if the case goes to court because the prosecutor will prove that she never consented. She was forced or blackmailed with the detention of her brother or son.

When I talk to my friends, I take this reasoning to a higher level. I always ask my male friends to consider themselves as hunters when trying to woe women. If you go hunting, what kind of game do you want to come home with? Would you like to come home with a lame duck? Who wants to come home with a weak antelope that could not run? It is actually an embarrassment when a hunter comes home with a crippled pigeon? A brave hunter is the one that comes home with a lioness. He is brave because people knew he risked his life to hunt a lioness. Likewise, try to go after women who are powerful, who are employed, who are independent, who are educated, who could look at you and tell you to get lost. When such women say yes to you, that is yes. And naturally, you will not be in doubt when such women consent and when they decline to consent. But if you continue to go after your employees, then you will be confused whether they consented or not.

And something else to know: A woman has the right to withdraw her consent at anytime, assuming she gave it at the beginning. So, if you are having sex with a woman that had consented and right in the middle of the act she tells you to stop, you must stop. You only have a second or two to stop and withdraw from her. If you continue just because you are already into it, then you are committing rape and you may be convicted if prosecuted. You need her consent to penetrate and that consent must continue at all material time. As the law was defined, you need the consent of the woman to penetrate and her consent to remain penetrated.

Rape is a serious crime. It is an extreme offense. A reasonable person should never be in doubt whether the woman is consenting or not.

Emeka Ugwuonye is a human rights lawyer and activist. He is president and chief executive officer of a leading human rights law firm in Nigeria, Eculaw Group. Ugwuonye is a graduate of the University of Benin and the Nigerian Law School, Lagos. He is a former policy adviser at Harvard University and legal counsel at the World Bank Group and the African Development Bank. Connect with him on . where he runs a human rights group called Due Process Advocates. 

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. 

loading...
loading...

NO COMMENTS

LEAVE A REPLY

9 + 4 =