Sexual Assault by Male Partners: A Study of Sentencing Variables
Southern Cross University Law Review, Vol. 9, pp. 39-72, 2005
Posted: 18 Nov 2009 Last revised: 21 Jun 2018
Date Written: 2005
The paper reviews an array of sentencing decisions in partner sexual assault over the past 20 years in various Australian jurisdictions. Over time, the Appellate Courts seem to be increasingly disinclined to name the relationship as a mitigator. Violation of trust is seldom recognized as an aggravator, though, and both the offender’s emotional distress at the termination of a relationship and the victim’s wishes continue, on occasion, to mitigate sentence. An apparent lack of knowledge about the dynamics and seriousness of this crime is evident from the light sentences and the not uncommon articulation by some trial and higher court judges of archaic constructions of conjugal sex and domestic violence. Such perceptions are contrasted wherever possible in the paper with the voices of those who have been raped by a partner or ex-partner.
Keywords: partner sexual assault
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