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

See all articles by Patricia L. Easteal

Patricia L. Easteal

University of Canberra - School of Law and Justice

Miriam Gani

ANU College of Law

Date Written: 2005

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Easteal, Patricia L. and Gani, Miriam, Sexual Assault by Male Partners: A Study of Sentencing Variables (2005). Southern Cross University Law Review, Vol. 9, pp. 39-72, 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1508186

Patricia L. Easteal (Contact Author)

University of Canberra - School of Law and Justice ( email )

Australia

Miriam Gani

ANU College of Law ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

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