Dissertation On Lack Of Consent To Sex

Dissertation On Lack Of Consent To Sex-76
This damaging perception of masculinity means that men can feel uncomfortable or self-conscious explicitly turning down unwanted sexual advances.

This damaging perception of masculinity means that men can feel uncomfortable or self-conscious explicitly turning down unwanted sexual advances.

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Ideally in these situations, telling perpetrators to back off would be safe and immediately respected.

However, the opposite is often true, and women who firmly reject men are often met by anger, aggression and retaliation.

Since 2001, complainants in the Republic are offered a protection that is not offered in Northern Ireland during this form of questioning.

“When that form of questioning is happening,” explains O’Sullivan, “complainants will be assigned lawyers to advise them on that process, and they are separate from the DPP and, of course, separate from the defence.

One of the traditional, now highly contested, ideas about consent is the “No Means No” framework, where consent is understood to be revoked if and only if the unwilling partner says no and resists, firmly and explicitly There were many lessons to be learned from the Belfast rape trial, from the intricacies of trials and the lack of representation offered to complainants, to the misogyny still perpetuated by some men, and the differences between the law in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

But perhaps the important and troubling lesson from the trial is that our understanding and practice of consent is so unclear that it is possible for one person to leave a sexual encounter believing it was consensual, while another person can leave believing it was rape.However, men too can freeze or feel intimidated when faced with sexual violence, and so verbally saying “no” or attempting to fight back is not always possible.By demanding verbal and physical resistance from victims, we are ensuring many victims will never come forward and report assaults, as they will blame themselves for not speaking up or fighting back, and they will – often correctly, unfortunately – believe that others will blame them, too.The use of such tactics in a courtroom are designed to appeal to a jury’s pre-existing biases surrounding sex and the trope of the “perfect victim”, who has a chaste sexual history, had no previous contact with the assailant, and who screamed or physically resisted during their assault sexual.These questions thus rely on and perpetuate damaging (and usually misogynistic) messages about sex and consent, and can prevent victims from reporting sexual assault, as they fear having their sexual history weaponised against them.From childhood, girls are usually taught to be polite and deferent, and are often criticised if they are perceived as being overly opinionated or “bossy”.Women are thus implicitly and explicitly taught to be agreeable, conflict-avoidant and to de-escalate emotionally charged situations by remaining calm and pleasant.Figures released by the Legal Aid Board following a freedom of information request in 2017 show that over the past five years, an average of 30 per cent of rape trials involved questions about a complainant’s sexual history.In 2016, the practice was used in 28 rape trials out of the 99 which were scheduled.A trial judge always has discretion as to whether or not it’s permissible to cross-examine a complainant on their sexual history.From a defence point of view, it’s something that has to be given a lot of consideration; it’s not a decision that anyone makes lightly.” O’Sullivan also notes that if a complainant is cross-examined about their sexual history, “the prosecution can elicit evidence on the defendant’s past, also”.


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