Class 9.doc

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22 Mar 2012

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Criminal Law March 19, 2012
Class 9
Sexual assault
Myth frequency:
Rape happens to good girls
Rape is deviant, blame is on the rapist
Innocent victim taken seriously; non innocent not taken seriously
‘she enjoyed it’
Women are sexual beings that want rape to happen
Rape is a pandemic (societal level). Certain societies make it more able to
happen. This profoundly changed the way sexual assault happened
If we are a more equal society, rape will happen less (limited to sex – male on
male rape and female on female rape are less often to be reported and
The theory that potential criminals will do a price-value analysis, so if
they know they will go to jail for a long time – less likely to commit
Safe environments and self-defence classes are ways to protect
Easier for complaint to be believed is important
Judiciary – concern over balancing rights of victims and rights of
Tough, especially with dealing with issues of credibility
Sexual assault is often a she said he said issue (credibility issue)
Better medical help for complainant is important
ER doctors dislike testifying now
Regina v. McGraw
Acquitted on three counts of threatening serious bodily harm
Serious bodily harm doesn’t have to be physical (can be PTSD for rape victims)
Bill C-49 – changed in 1983. Prior to reform, there was sexual assault simpliciter
(anything sexual), sexual assault causing bodily harm/assault with a weapon, and
aggravated sexual assault
Before 1983, the term was rape (only vaginal rape, only female and wives cannot
be raped). Changed term to sexual assault
Corroboration problems – he said/she said issue. Does not need to be justified now
Changing attitudes (no means no!)
Bill C-49 was passed because of Seaboyer case
Rape-shield struck down
Defence cannot say she is a slut as a defence
Actus reus – rape
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