The only laws that were helpful during the 1850’s had to do with when a man raped a woman. Only under certain circumstances did this help women. When a black man raped a white woman or a white man who raped a white woman, legal actions were taken to seek justice. In a situation when a white slave owner raped his black slave, it was often looked over and ignored because of the frequency of this terrible act.
A slave’s only hope would be to ask a friend of the master or even family members for help; which is what Celia did when she wanted to end the sexual relationship between herself and Robert Newsom. In some cases, outside people like friends or family may try to help, but that never guaranteed that the owner would stop his abuse. If a black female slave was raped by her white master, there was nothing that could legally be done to help her; she was property of her owner and that meant he could do what he wanted. Lawyers could not intervene in that type of situation because they would risk their license or their standing in the community, for the same reasons judges could not step forward either. No one could help a black slave if they ever came forward and wanted to seek legal help for the