New “No Means No” rape law will help domestic violence survivors
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At long last, the Maryland legislature has passed — and Governor Hogan appears ready to sign into law — a significant change in our state’s bizarre rape law which, until now, required prosecutors to prove that a rape victim had physically resisted her assailant, regardless of the threat implicit in doing so and despite the fact that the victim had forcefully told the assailant to stop. The “No Means No” law, sponsored by Delegate Kathleen Dumais (D-Montgomery County) and Senator Delores Kelley (D-Baltimore County) applies to all sex crimes prosecutions.
Between 40 and 45% of women abused by intimate partners are expected to be sexually assaulted during the course of their relationship. In one study of women who were raped by intimate partners, more than half of the victims were raped multiple times by the same partner.
Females who are sexually assaulted by an intimate partner have more significant risk factors for homicide than do intimate partner violence victims who are not sexually assaulted.