Sexual Assault In Canada
Lastly, I will look at how this stereotypical perspective contributes to the meaning of consent viewed by both men and women.
In order to deal and prevent further sexual assaults, one first needs to understand what is considered an assault. According to section 265.1(a) of the Criminal Code of Canada, “(1) A person commits an assault when (a) without the consent of another person, he applies force intentionally to that other person, directly or indirectly” Simon, Verdun- Jones (2011:228-9). The section 265(2) of the criminal code further applies to “all forms of assault, including sexual assault, sexual assault with a weapon, threats to a third party or causing bodily harm and aggravated sexual assault” Simon, Verdun- Jones (2011:228-9). An assault, more specifically a sexual assault can be committed by both male and female towards either male or female; but still the majority of the offence is committed by men against women in our community. Furthermore, it is crucial to look …show more content…
The old laws reinforced the stereotypical views about male and female roles in society. For example, by the definition only women were considered to be victims because forced vaginal penetration was required in order to prove rape (Handbook, 2007:4). No one ever considered the fact that men could also be the victims of a sexual assault. It was also this notion among people in society that men are dominant and powerful beings and they can protect themselves, whereas women are submissive and weak who are in need of protection. It wasn 't until the beginning of 1983 that important changes were made in criminal law regarding sexual assault. Indecent assault and crimes of rape were replaced by new sexual assault offences in the 1983 amendment. It was intended to emphasize the violent facet of the crime as opposed to the ‘moral’ or sexual nature of the offence (Statistics Canada, 2008). With this legislation, three new categories (levels) of sexual assault were established. Basic sexual assault – minimal physical injury to the victim – is level 1 which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison; sexual assault with a weapon, threats to use a weapon or causing bodily harm, is level 2 which is punishable