In modern dating, with meet-ups and casual sex common, what constitutes consent can be unclear. Men or women who change their minds about sexual contact can feel obligated to continue. This is not consent. This is coercion.
I am tired of our society silencing victims of sexual coercion because “You said yes, didn’t you?”
I am tired of considering myself at fault when it was not my fault.
So for all of the girls and boys who have been hurt and haven’t allowed themselves to think about it or understand that what happened to them was wrong, I am coming out as a survivor of sexual assault, and I am telling them that it was wrong.
I have said yes to something I was uncomfortable with because my boyfriend at the time had hounded me about it.
I have shrugged and complied when asked by a one-night stand, “Aren’t you going to reciprocate?”
I have drunkenly accepted a man’s advances and awakened the next morning unsure of what happened the night before.
That was not consent. That was non-consensual sex. That was rape. And there are far too many silent survivors.
The State publishes a cross section of the letters we receive from South Carolinians in order to provide a forum for our community and also to allow our community to get a good look at itself, for good or bad. The letters represent the views of the letter writers, not necessarily of The State.