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I need to know!

We just taped this week’s podcast about E. Jean Carroll’s win in her sexual assault and defamation law suit against former President Trump.

During our chat, Margaret wanted and needed to know right then, how to answer the questions she was getting from women on what the difference is between rape and sexual assault. She was urgent and demanded that we find the answer at that moment. So, I googled it. I read off what it said for the State of New York.

After the podcast I researched it a bit further. I looked at different States in the US, the UK and Italy.

So here it is very clearly:

Rape is the act of non-consensual sexual intercourse against an individual by the way of physical force, or the use of threats or drugs. It includes the penetration of the vagina, anus or mouth by a sex organ of another person.

Sexual assault is the act of sexual contact without consent. It is also coercing or physically forcing a person to engage in a sexual act. Some forms of sexual assault are: attempted rape, fondling and touching, oral sex or penetrating the perpetrator’s body with something other than a sex organ.

As rape is sexual contact, rape falls under both rape and sexual assault.

I am going to add another “I need to know” for all women and men.

What is consent? Consent is a knowing, voluntary and clear permission by word or action to engage in mutually agreed upon sexual activity.

Silence and passivity is not consent.

Consent to one form of sexual activity cannot automatically imply consent to any other forms of sexual activity.

Prior consent cannot automatically imply consent to future sexual acts.

Consent can be withdrawn once given.

E. Jean Carroll did not give Donald Trump consent to sexual contact nor give him consent to “penetrate” her. It was not mutually agreed upon. Men, do not think because the women is silent and “frozen” that she is allowing you to continue any sexual act. Women understand that you can change your mind at any time. This means you could have say ‘yes’ and then start feeling uncomfortable with the situation and then say ‘no’. And men, once she has said no and you continue, you are now committing sexual assault or rape.

So yes Margaret, we all needed to know. E. Jean Carroll has helped educated us on all of this. I am grateful that now, more people can say “I know”.

Cathie Geraci: Chair.


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