Your Rights While In A Relationship
You have the right (whether you are female, male, heterosexual, bi-sexual or homosexual) to have mutually respectful intimate relationships.
The following is true:
- Every person has the right to control their own body and to make decisions regarding having sex, using birth control, becoming pregnant and having children. You do not lose these rights, or relinquish them when you marry or when you enter into an intimate relationship.
- No one has the right to force you to have sex, either through physical violence, threats, manipulation or coercion.Although sex is understood to be part of marriage or common-law relationships, a person does not give up the right to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ each and every time.
- You are not the property of your partner and as such, your partner does not have the right to ‘take’ sex from you.Having a disagreement never gives someone the right to physically abuse or to rape you.
- If your partner rapes you, it has nothing to do with your sexual relationship. Rape is used to humiliate, degrade and punish. It is, like domestic violence, an exercise of power and control.
- Rape is not a spontaneous act that ‘just happens’. The act of rape, like domestic violence, is a premeditated choice by the perpetrator. It is a crime.
Based on materials developed by Sexual Assault Response Services of Southern Maine, Portland, Maine, USA (www.sarsonline.org).