Do You Know No?
- December 15, 2016
- WBH Legal
- Comments Off on Do You Know No?
In the murky world of sexual assault the concept of consent can be fuzzy. This festive season make sure you play safe and stay safe.
You are guilty of rape if you engage or continue to engage, in sexual intercourse with another person and that person does not consent, or has withdrawn consent, to the sexual intercourse, and you know, or are recklessly indifferent to, the fact that the other person does not so consent or has so withdrawn consent. The maximum penalty is imprisonment for life.
Consent is only when the person freely and voluntarily agrees to the sexual activity. It is not consent if the person agrees because of a threat, if they are detained, they are asleep or unconscious, they are intoxicated to the point of not being able to freely consent, they don’t understand the nature of the activity and the person is mistaken about your identity.
No one is suggesting that you obtain a signed consent form prior to sex, but we do remind you to ensure that you have got the right signal. The “regret it after” has sometimes become the “report it later”.
Reckless indifference can mean that you are aware of the possibility that the other person does not agree, or has withdrawn consent, and you carry on regardless. It can also mean that you are aware of the possibility that there is no consent and you have failed to take reasonable steps to find out if the other person does in fact consent or if you did not give any thought as to whether or not the other person was consenting before deciding to proceed.
We strongly advise that if someone accuses you of sexual assault seek immediate legal advice.