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PSYC 3310 (80)

Ch. 11: Sexual Assault

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PSYC 3310
Gwen Jenkins

Ch. 11: Sexual Assault Thursday, May 31, 2011:00 PM The Traumaof Sexual Assault What is Sexual Assault? - CCC definition very broad ○ Any forced sexual activity, an attempt at forced sexual activity, or unwanted sexual touching, grabbing, kissing, or fondling - Canada-- no statute of limitations on sexual assault - Meaning of "consent" (CCC s. 273.1) ○ Voluntary agreement of person to engage in sexual activity - Definitions of "no consent" ○ Agreement by person other than participant ○ Participant incapable of consenting ○ Abuse of position of trust, power, or authority ○ Participant says/gestures lack of agreement ○ Participant (essentially) changes mind - Intoxication with alcohol/substances is NOT a defense MoreaboutConsent in Canada - Age of consent for all forms of sexual activity, including sexual touching (e.g., kissing), raised from 14 to 16 years on May 1, 2008 - Age of consent = 18 yearswhere sexual activity is exploitative (e.g., prostitution, pornography, or with person of authority, trust, or dependency (e.g., teacher, babysitter)). Exceptionsto Age of Consent(ON TEST) - CCC has "close in age" or "peer group" exceptions. ○ As longas there is no relationship of trust, authority or dependency or any other exploitation,  A 14 or 15 year old can consent to sexual activity as longas the other person is < 5 years older or they are married to each other  A 12 or 13 year old can consent to sexual activity as longas the other person is < 2 years older ThreeLevelsof Sexual Assault(SA) - (3) Aggravated Sexual Assault ○ Sexual assault involving wounding, disfigurement, or endangerment of life - (2) Sexual Assault with a Weapon, Threats to a Third Party, or Causing Bodily Harm ○ Carries, uses, or threatens to use weapon (real or imitation), ○ Threatens to cause bodily harm to victim or other person, ○ Causes bodily harm (e.g., broken nose, broken teeth, fracture) to victim, ○ Party to the offence with any other person [someone watch is just as guilty] - (1) Sexual Assault ○ Punishment  Every one who commits a sexual assault is guilty of: □ (a) an indictable offense and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years, □ (a) an indictable offense and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years, or □ (b) an offense punishable on summary conviction and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding eighteen months □ NB: (a) & (b) are maximumsentences for summary & indictable prosecution-- many perpetrators only required to pay a fine Background Information - Reports of sexual victimization vary depending on source ○ Police report fewer incidents than victimization surveys ○ 1999 Victimization survey indicates "...sexual assault had highest percentage of incidents not reported to police (78%)"* Why?  Incident dealt with in another way, don't want police involved, fear of revenge, etc.  Concern about treatment of alleged rape victims in Court also a powerful deterrent Police Reported: SA in Canada(2003) - Sexual Assault: 22,884, BUT… ○ Only 6 out of 100 reported to police (i.e., >350,000) ○ Only 1-2% of "date rape" SAs reported to police ○ Only 2-4% of reported SAs are false reports ○ Over 80% of victims are women ○ >83% of disabled women will be sexually assaulted during their lifetime ○ >50% of aboriginal women have been sexually abused Where do assaultsoccur? - 60.4% Residence [Just know that most take place at home] - 8.3% Street/road/highway - Commercial - Unknown - Public Institution - Open area - School - Hotel/motel - Parking lot - Public transport Victims Females Males -Acquaintance 21.8% 27.1% -Stranger 19.9% 10.4% -Other family 12.6% 19.7% -Friend 11.7% 14% -Parent 8.1% 9.8% -Unknown 7.8% 8.7% -Business 7.4% 9.8% -Business 7.4% 9.8% -Spouse/Ex-Spouse 4.3% 0.5% ○ [Mostly likely to be assaulted by someone you know than by a stranger Age of Victims - Statistics Canada (2003) Females: Males: <12 years 20% 51% Aged 12-17 35% 29% Aged 18-60+ 45% 20% - [Young males, older women] - Finkelhor et al. (1990) ○ Telephone survey, LA Times, 1985 ○ "When you were a child, can you remember any kind of experience that you were now consider sexual abuse involving someonetakingnudephotographsof you, or someone exhibiting parts of their body to you, or someoneperformingsomesex actin your presence-- or anything like that?" Rape & Sexual Assault - Bill C-127 (1983): 'Rape' replaced by SA (3 levels) ○ Emphasis on violent, rather than sexual ○ Eliminate misconceptions 1. Rape committed by strangers (included spousal rape) 2. Rape must involve physical injury (SA1) - Rape Myths: Attitudes Toward Rape Victims Scale (Ward, 1988): 25 statements ○ "Intoxicated women are usually willing to have sex", "Most women secretly desire to be raped", "A healthy woman can successfully resist a rapist if she really tries" Rape TraumaSyndrome - Burgess & Holstrom (1974)-- Coined 30 years ago to describe collection of responses reported by 92 rape victims ○ Frequency of symptoms & rate of recovery varies, depends on personal and environmental factors (e.g., age, social support) - Phase I: Acute Crisis Phase - Phase II: Long-Term Reactions Phase PhaseI: AcuteCrisisPhase - Begins immediately after assault ○ Usually lasts for a few weeks ○ Great disorganization in victim's life-- shock, terror, confusion ○ Somaticsymptoms: shaking/trembling, racing heart, pain, tight muscles, rapid breathing, numbness ○ Feel unsafe/vulnerable, self-esteem plummets ○ Depression-- moderate/severe ○ Denial, sh
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