‘I consented but then asked him to stop’: Read the story of the North Carolina rape victim who will never get justice
‘That was the moment it became rape’
A North Carolina law states that if a person consents to sex, but revokes their consent during intercourse, it can not be considered rape.
This is what happened to Aaliyah Palmer when she met a man at a party in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Aaliyah, 19, is from Charlotte, NC. She is a sophomore at North Carolina State University, and she is a rape victim. Aaliyah originally consented to sex, but when things became violent she withdrew consent and begged her rapist to stop. She reported this crime to the police, but her case was dismissed.
This is her story.
January 21, 2017. I had just gotten off work, and a man, we’ll call him Matt*, who I had met through Tinder Social a few days prior, invited me and my friend to a house party. My friend respectfully chose another party, and I chose to go with Matt. I have regretted this decision every day since.
I may have chosen to go the party, but I did not choose for my life to change
I arrived around 10:30pm and was shown two apartments, one empty besides the man who owned it, and the other full of women and men, military and civilians. The party near a military base. Matt was in the military and so were many of his friends, including my rapist.
After about 30 minutes, a man who is privileged enough to remain unidentified, started to hit on me and make out with me. We moved from the party apartment to the empty apartment, and he pulled me into the bathroom.
At first I hesitated, but then went along with it
In a matter of minutes, things went from alright to horrifying. Suddenly, the pain kicked in. This man, let’s call him Jack*, had begun to grip the base of my hair very tightly, and I could feel individual strands being removed from my scalp due to the force. This was the point I told him he was hurting me and when he ignored what I was saying, I asked him to stop. Jack then told me to be quiet and relax, refusing to stop.
I consented but then asked him to stop — that was the moment it became rape
Sadly that is not true in the eyes of the law. My assault went on for roughly two hours. I could hear the apartment filling with people, but could only hear the voices of male strangers. I chose not to fight him as I knew he was stronger than I was. I chose not to run, because I did not know the men who would be waiting for me on the other side of the door. Although I didn’t run or fight, I kept telling him he was hurting me and I wanted him to stop, and that should have been enough.
During my assault, I noticed multiple videos were being taken of my assault through the gap between the bathroom door and floor, through an entrance in the private bedroom. I have been informed these videos did not provide enough information to help me receive justice. The video had no audio, and the police could only recover two videos which showed the beginning and the end of the encounter.
I was told a law existed where a woman does not have the right to revoke consent after a sexual encounter she originally consented to has started
This law only exists in North Carolina. Most of the time, from my understanding, the police will try to get convictions for other charges such as battery or unlawful imprisonment. However, the only evidence of force was my hair in a pile on the bathroom floor which was gone by the time the police arrived, a full week after I reported the incident.
There are a lot of opinions about me out there
Many wonder why I didn’t fight him, saying if they were in that situation he would be dead. But they weren’t in that situation, I was.
Other’s think I am falsely accusing him, because he didn’t call me back or simply because of the video. This was rape before I noticed the phone camera, and since that day I have never had any interest in being in contact with Jack unless it is at court where I can finally receive justice.
But I’ll never get that day in court due this outrageous North Carolina law.
There is no getting out of this for me. I am getting nothing out of telling my story. No amount of news coverage is going to turn back the hands of time and change what happened and the emotional effects of it all.
Since this incident I have had depression to the point of suicidal thoughts
I have anxiety whenever I’m in a crowd, especially when I see anyone in a military uniform. This military man, a person who was supposed to protect me and my freedom has completely robbed me of my personal freedom.
I don’t have the desire to eat and I have no motivation. My education is the most important thing to me. I was valedictorian in High School, yet this horror has forced me to withdraw from my second semester at NC State. I lost my scholarship, and if I don’t succeed academically this fall, I will be kicked out of college.
This incident has negatively changed the course of my life, all because one man couldn’t understand that no means no, no matter how many yesses came before.
A lot of things need to change when it comes to handling rape cases, one important one is this law. Rapist shouldn’t be walking free while victims are imprisoned in their own minds and emotions.
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