So many women I interviewed when writing my book reported saying yes to sex just to get the sex over with and have the person go away. Others reported saying yes to sex to have the person like them. Others reported gaining weight so they wouldn’t have to say no to dating and sex. Many reported losing weight, feeling attractive, and wanting to put the weight back on so they wouldn’t have to deal with the dating and sex game. Others reported being raped because when they said no, it wasn’t respected. Many reported drinking too much, knowing they had been taken advantage sexually and not remembering the specifics.

The stories go on and on and, except for being raped, they all have one thing in common: the inability to say no when you mean no.

The Law
Although there are mixed messages during this time, we are supposed to be living in a country where no one can touch you without your permission. Not all countries have this law, so it is important for us to fight to keep this protection. Part of honoring this protection is learning to say a clear, concise, emphatic no if that is what you mean. As you can see from the above examples, many people do not believe they can say no. When perpetrators are allowed to take advantage of people, we all suffer. When they are called out on their behavior and made to suffer consequences, we begin to create a safer environment for all.

We all benefit when we collectively start to support one another by saying no to sexual bullies. The first step is to say no when we mean no. The second step is to report when our no is not honored. For some these tasks seem overwhelming.

Let’s see if we can make them easier.

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Author's Bio: 

Dr. Anne Brown PhD, RN of Sausalito, California, formerly from Aspen, Colorado is a psychotherapist, speaker, coach, and the author of Backbone Power: The Science of Saying No. For over twenty years she served as the trusted advocate and advisor to Influential Corporate leaders, Trial Attorneys, Athletes, Leaders, Physicians and their families whose connections extended far beyond Aspen, Colorado.

Combining her own professional experience with that of her no-nonsense mentor, the former Chilean Minister of Finance, political prisoner of Pinochet and corporate business consultant, Dr. Fernando Flores, Brown used a methodology that helped people reveal their blindness’s and learn to speak authentically thereby decreasing their suffering and increasing their dignity and authenticity. Brown has been described by one client as “having a very caring way of going for the jugular.”

Brown is a graduate of the University of Virginia, BS in Nursing; Boston University, MS in Psychiatric-Mental Health in Nursing; and International University, PhD in Addiction Studies. In 1997 Brown also reached a personal goal of obtaining her Black Belt in Soo Bahk Do.

You can contact Dr. Anne Brown through her website: