The North Carolina legislature — which is controlled by Republicans — has come together to unanimously approve a bill that will overhaul the state’s outdated sexual assault laws. Gov. Roy Cooper (D) is expected to sign the bill.
The state laws have allowed for several, to put it lightly and politely, absolutely batshit rape exceptions. For example, one loophole said it was illegal to revoke consent after sex has began, according to The New York Times.
North Carolina was the only state in the country where this was legal, WRAL reported.
Another absolutely bonkers loophole was.... I’ll just quote the paper of record:
Another loophole, a result of a 2008 court ruling, made it legal to have sex with someone who is incapacitated if that person’s condition was caused by his or her actions — like consuming drugs or alcohol.
The bill was first introduced as a bill to protect child sexual abuse victims, but ended up combining four sexual assault bills, the Times reported. Among the passed legislation was a statute of limitations increase for child survivors to sue and expand training for school personnel to spot sex trafficking and abuse, according to WRAL.
State Sen. Jeff Jackson said it took five years of introducing the bill to revoke consent into the legislature. “In the process of fighting for this for many years, I spoke to countless women who had been through this experience,” Jackson tweeted. “I just want to say to them: Your stories made this happen. We heard you and we took action. It took way too long, but we got there.”
The positive show of bipartisanship was applauded by an organization that works with assault survivors. “In the past, [the legislature] had been led by one political party, but this year we had a strong coalition of members who were bipartisan and bicameral,” Skye David, an attorney with North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault, told the Times.