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Chapter 16

Chapter 16 - Sexual Coercion.docx

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Western University
Psychology 2075
William Fisher

Chapter 16: Sexual Coercion Sexual Assault • prior 1983, Criminal Code had 4 sections that didn’t allow… o (1) forced sexual activity (rape), (2) attempted rape, (3) indecent assault against a female, (4) indecent assault against a male • 1983 – Criminal Code of Canada amended so o offences of rape & indecent assault were replaced with 3 gender-neutral crimes of sexual assault o amount of force + degree of injury --- not nature of forced sexual activity o de-emphasize sexual nature of offence, stress violent nature, encourage victims to report o improve court procedure = decrease trauma to victims, increase rate of convictions • 3 levels of sexual assault parallel the 3 levels of physical assault in Criminal Code o 1) simple sexual assault o 2) sexual assault with weapon causing serious injury or endangering life of victim or causing bodily harm o 3) aggravated sexual assault • sexual assault = non-consensual sexual experiences causing serious physical injury or disfigurement to victim o no consent = silence + inaction + ambiguous conduct + drunk/unconscious + changes mind from yes to no o children <16 = sexual abuse, cannot consent to sexual activity • court proceedings o limit questioning of victims about their sexual history in sexual assault trials (“rape shield laws”) o don’t require corroboration of victim’s testimony • due to court challenges o there is some conditions under which judge can admit victim’s sexual history as evidence Statistics • Violence Against Women Survey o 39% women = sexually assaulted since age 16 o 5% women = in previous 12 months • rate of sexual assault decreasing since 1990s • no reliable stats but appears incidence is low • women with disabilities 4X more likely to be
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