Sexual Assault by Male Partners: Is the License Still Valid?
Flinders Journal of Law Reform, Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 185-207, 2005
23 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2009 Last revised: 5 Dec 2012
Date Written: 2005
By examining appellate cases from various Australian jurisdictions, the relevant ACT DPP files over a ten year period, Canberra Rape Crisis statistics, interviews with solicitors, counselors and in-depth narratives of survivors, this paper examines the crime that results from the intersection of domestic violence and sexual assault — ‘partner rape’. The victims’ and the courts’ sometimes contradictory interpretation of consent and its vitiation are contrasted through looking at findings of low disclosure and reporting rates, high discontinuance of prosecution and jury non-conviction in the ACT, and evidentiary issues of prior violence and reliability of victim/witness testimony. Some recognition of the victim’s reality has taken place in the courts but the need for further legal and social change is also identified and discussed in the article.
Keywords: domestic violence, sexual assault, partner rape, consent
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