The term “sexual crime” is an umbrella categorization that governs many types of sexually related charges that involve violence and aggression. Sexual assault is a specific type of offence and it can be defined as any form of sexual contact imposed on a person without their consent or free will.
The term “rape” is not used in the Canadian Criminal Code in an effort to lose the moral stigma attached to it and also to highlight the violent nature of the crime. The change in terminology to Sexual Assault provides for a more specific charge to be filed depending on the nature and circumstance (if a weapon was used, threats, etc.)
In summary, the Criminal Code defines the criminal offence of sexual assault as follows:
- Applying force intentionally and without the consent of another person
- The force used has to be applied in a sexual context (as compared to for example, a “simple” assault such as a punch)
- Using threats, force or any form of gesture to make the other person believe that they are in danger and have no choice based on your demands
- Visibility of a weapon and the use of it to threaten someone
What Kruse Law’s sexual assault clients have to say:
Sexual assault is a serious offence which is usually punishable with jail time and can carry a penalty of up to ten years’ incarceration depending on the serious of the case. While studies show that women are at greater risk of being sexually assaulted, no particular race, creed, age or gender is exempt from this act of violence.
There are many unfortunate and lingering myths surrounding sexual assault and a few are listed below.
- Sexual assault comes from an uncontrollable urge of passion (In fact, it is a crime of violence)
- Husbands cannot rape a woman they are married to
- Men cannot be sexually assaulted
- When a woman says no, what she really means is yes
- Women falsely report rapes quite often
- Rape is a fantasy of many women and they get pleasure from the act
Through research, many of these beliefs have been dispelled.
- In Canada before 1983, rape was only recognized as a crime outside of marriage. A wife could charge her husband with various lesser penalties of assault, but not rape. Bill C-127 has come into effect in Canada’s Criminal Code since then, allowing a woman the right to charge her spouse with sexual and or aggravated assault. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in a stand against violence towards women in 1993, condemned marital rape, and it is now considered a human rights violation.
- All men, regardless of their sexual orientation can be sexually assaulted (more commonly by other men)
- Consent is paramount in any sexual encounter. If Someone says no, they then have the right to press charges if they feel forced into engaging in any sexual act. “No” in fact means no.
- Statistics show that the percentage of falsely reported sexual assaults is very low as is the case with other crimes
- Even with a fantasy, there is control and choice. Consensual domination has more to do with the experience and little to do with what rape really is about
If you or someone you know has been charged with sexual assault or any other type of criminal offence, call us as soon as possible. Your initial consultation is free and we provide you with a judgement free service that can help you get your life back together.
Your reputation and livelihood can be negatively impacted if you are charged or convicted. We at Kruse Law have extensive experience in successfully representing our clients and will gladly extend our services to you.