If It’s Not a Clear Yes, It’s a No: Honoring Sexual Consent in Relationships

If It’s Not a Clear Yes, It’s a No: Honoring Sexual Consent in Relationships

Rape mostly happens among people who know each other.

Published March 31, 2015

There are many aspects of sexuality that aren’t spoken about enough, especially within the African American community. One of those subjects happens to be sexual consent. Before getting into any type of sexual activity, consent needs to be granted on both ends for sex to commence in a peaceful and enjoyable fashion. Unfortunately, sexual consent isn’t something that is always secured before sex occurs, and this type of commandeering often leaves its victims feeling violated and abused.

We often hear about rape in the context of a random stranger pulling a woman off the street, date rape or a school teacher having sex with her underage student, but what we rarely hear about openly are the stories from women who have been forced into sex by someone they trust and love.

As quiet as it is kept, rape within relationships happens far more than what one would expect and it is a situation that can make any woman feel trapped, alone and worthless. According to one national study, “based on the findings of the largest U.S. study of violence against women to date, it is estimated that over 7 million women have been raped by their intimate partners in the United States (Mahoney, Williams & West, 2001; Tjaden & Thoennes, 1998).” Further research goes on to state that “one out of every 8 adult women in the US has experienced at least one forcible rape in her lifetime.”

Even within the confines of a marriage or committed relationship, consent still needs to be given clearly for both partners to play responsibly, but sometimes a man’s desires and his previous interactions with his partner can lead him to believe advancing in a sexual manner is okay. In reality, it’s not.

The words “no”, “stop”, “not right now” or other words that signify a negative response to sexual advances should not be taken lightly or viewed as playing “hard to get.” Negative body language such as sitting with arms or legs crossed, facing the body away from a partner, or the limbs being placed close to the body are also signs of non interest.

Read more about consent and respect at BlackDoctor.Org.

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(Photo: Sam Edwards / Getty Images)

Written by Tyomi Morgan, BlackDoctor.Org

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