In R. v. Ewanchuk, the Supreme Court of Canada held that sexual touching must be accompanied by express, contemporaneous consent. In doing so, the Court rejected the idea that sexual consent could be "implied." Ewanchuk was a landmark ruling, reflecting a powerful commitment to women's equality and sexual autonomy. In articulating limits on the circumstances under which women can be said to "consent" to sexual touching, however, the decision also restricts their autonomy - specifically, by denying them a voice in determining the norms that should govern their intimate relationships and sexual lives. In Implied Consent and Sexual Assault, Michael Plaxton argues that women should have the autonomy to decide whether, and under what circumstances, sexual touching can be appropriate in the absence of express consent. Though caution should be exercised before resurrecting a limited doctrine of implied consent, there are reasons to think that sexual assault law could accommodate a doctrine without undermining the sexual autonomy or equality rights of women. In reaching this conclusion, Plaxton challenges widespread beliefs about autonomy, consent, and the objectives underpinning the offence of sexual assault in Canada. Drawing upon a range of contemporary criminal law theorists and feminist scholars, Implied Consent and Sexual Assault reconsiders the nature of mutuality in a world dominated by gender norms, the proper scope of criminal law, and the true meaning of sexual autonomy.
A 2014 report issued by the White House Council on Women and Girls included the alarming statistic that one in five female college students in the United States experience some form of campus sexual assault. Despite more than fifty years of anti-rape activism and over two decades of federal legislation regarding campus sexual violence, sexual assault on American college and university campuses remains prevalent, under-reported, and poorly understood. A principle reason for this lack of understanding is that the voices of women who have experienced campus sexual assault have been largely absent from academic discourse about the issue. In Campus Sexual Assault, Lauren J. Germain focuses attention on the post-sexual assault experiences of twenty-six college women. She reframes conversations about sexual violence and student agency on American college campuses by drawing insight directly from the stories of how survivors responded individually to attacks, as well as how and why peers, family members, and school, medical, and civil authorities were (or were not) engaged in addressing the crimes. Germain weaves together women's narratives to show the women not as victims per se, but as individuals with the power to overcome these traumatic experiences. Aimed at students, parents, faculty members, university leaders, service providers, and lawmakers, Campus Sexual Assault seeks to put an end to the silence around sexual trauma by giving voice to those closest to it and providing tools for others to hear with--and to act on.
This collection of highly acclaimed research articles, published in the peer-reviewed journal Violence and Victims, disseminates state-of-the-art information about sexual violence on campus. It addresses the controversy surrounding statistics on the prevalence of college sexual assault and its tendency to go unreported, as well as contention regarding university policies and response (or lack thereof) by administrators. Articles present research related to victims and perpetrators, predictive factors, efforts to promote awareness, and prevention programming. Expert researchers from such disciplines as psychology, psychiatry, sociology, criminology, counseling, nursing, and social work provide interdisciplinary perspectives with articles addressing gender differences and the role of alcohol use in sexual assault victimization, perceived risk to experience sexual victimization, intimate partner sexual assault and objectification, a bibliotherapy approach to prevention, the role of impulsivity among perpetrators, the role of administrators and bystanders, and many other topics. This research collection about college sexual assault will help to foster greater understanding of this controversial issue, provide a foundation for further research, and promote strategies of awareness and prevention on our college campuses. Key Features: Delivers top-tier research articles by interdisciplinary experts on college sexual assault Includes research on victims, perpetrators, bystanders, and college administration Examines awareness and prevention programs Addresses predictive factors, gender differences, and the role of alcohol use
Honorable Mention, 2015 Eileen Basker Memorial Prize presented by the Society for Medical Anthropology Every year in the U.S., thousands of women and hundreds of men participate in sexual assault forensic examinations. Drawing on four years of participatory research in a Baltimore emergency room, Sameena Mulla reveals the realities of sexual assault response in the forensic age. Taking an approach developed at the intersection of medical and legal anthropology, she analyzes the ways in which nurses work to collect and preserve evidence while addressing the needs of sexual assault victims as patients. Mulla argues that blending the work of care and forensic investigation into a single intervention shapes how victims of violence understand their own suffering, recovery, and access to justice--in short, what it means to be a "victim". As nurses race the clock to preserve biological evidence, institutional practices, technologies, and even state requirements for documentation undermine the way in which they are able to offer psychological and physical care. Yet most of the evidence they collect never reaches the courtroom and does little to increase the number of guilty verdicts. Mulla illustrates the violence of care with painstaking detail, illuminating why victims continue to experience what many call "secondary rape" during forensic intervention, even as forensic nursing is increasingly professionalized. Revictimization can occur even at the hands of conscientious nurses, simply because they are governed by institutional requirements that shape their practices. The Violence of Care challenges the uncritical adoption of forensic practice in sexual assault intervention and post-rape care, showing how forensic intervention profoundly impacts the experiences of violence, justice, healing and recovery for victims of rape and sexual assault.
A powerful and moving book. Patricia Easteal has brought together the responses of women to a national survey about rape and sexual abuse. A major part of the book is made up of the letters and comments of women who have experienced abuse from husbands, estranged husbands, relatives, dates, acquaintances and strangers. The author has arranged the material to reveal the political nature of these crimes. The tables from the survivor survey are included in an Appendix to the book.
The Bureau of Justice Statistics' (BJS) National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) measures the rates at which Americans are victims of crimes, including rape and sexual assault, but there is concern that rape and sexual assault are undercounted on this survey. BJS asked the National Research Council to investigate this issue and recommend best practices for measuring rape and sexual assault on their household surveys. "Estimating the Incidence of Rape and Sexual Assault" concludes that it is likely that the NCVS is undercounting rape and sexual assault. The most accurate counts of rape and sexual assault cannot be achieved without measuring them separately from other victimizations, the report says. It recommends that BJS develop a separate survey for measuring rape and sexual assault. The new survey should more precisely define ambiguous words such as "rape," give more privacy to respondents, and take other steps that would improve the accuracy of responses. "Estimating the Incidence of Rape and Sexual Assault" takes a fresh look at the problem of measuring incidents of rape and sexual assault from the criminal justice perspective. This report examines issues such as the legal definitions in use by the states for these crimes, best methods for representing the definitions in survey instruments so that their meaning is clear to respondents, and best methods for obtaining as complete reporting as possible of these crimes in surveys, including methods whereby respondents may report anonymously. Rape and sexual assault are among the most injurious crimes a person can inflict on another. The effects are devastating, extending beyond the initial victimization to consequences such as unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, sleep and eating disorders, and other emotional and physical problems. Understanding the frequency and context under which rape and sexual assault are committed is vital in directing resources for law enforcement and support for victims. These data can influence public health and mental health policies and help identify interventions that will reduce the risk of future attacks. Sadly, accurate information about the extent of sexual assault and rape is difficult to obtain because most of these crimes go unreported to police. "Estimating the Incidence of Rape and Sexual Assault" focuses on methodology and vehicles used to measure rape and sexual assaults, reviews potential sources of error within the NCVS survey, and assesses the training and monitoring of interviewers in an effort to improve reporting of these crimes.