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Consent is a critical proposition in allegations and cases of sexual assault and definitions of consent are shaped by social ideas and conventions about sex, gender and power. Critically discuss this proposition by examining some reported recent cases Essay Example

  • Category:
    Law
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    Assignment
  • Level:
    Undergraduate
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Consent is a critical proposition in allegations and cases of sexual assault and definitions of consent are shaped by social ideas and conventions about sex, gender and power.

Consent is a word that has drawn debates in many societies in regards to its definition and usage. It has been quite controversial with its definition shaped by social ideas and various conventions about sex, gender and power. Consent therefore is a critical proposition in allegations and cases of sexual assault. This page critically evaluates the proposition by examining some reported recent cases. The cases discussed are that facing International Monetary Fund (IMF) Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Wikileaks whistleblower organization co-founder Julian Assange (Siegel, p.295).

Consent is the voluntary agreement of the complainant to engage in the sexual activity in question. There is no consent if agreement is in conduct or by words of any other person other than the one complaining, victim is not in a position to consent to sexual activity, the one accused uses inducement such as power, authority or the position entrusted. No consent if there is disagreement and expression of unwillingness to continue engaging in a sexual act. Sexual assault on the other hand is an assault sexually in nature violating a victim’s sexual integrity (Edmonton Police Service, Community Policing, pp. 1-3).

The Manhattan woman who accuses the IMF chief of sexually assaulting her has claimed there was no consent on having sex with him. The 32-year old woman was reporting the news in a hospital where she claimed that Strauss-Kahn attempted to rape her in a New York hotel. The lack of consent by the complainant or victim occasioned the treatment of Mr. Kahn like any other criminal despite the status and set the process for him to appear before a grand jury where the victim of the alleged sexual assault will testify (Barbara, Jeniffer, Cunningham & Hutchinson, pp. 1-4).

In the case of the Julian Assange, accusations lingered on assaulting sexually two women. The charges against Assange were one count of unlawful coercion, two counts of sexual molestation and one count of rape. In some quotas, there have been allegations of condom breakage at a time of the act, which taken as lack of consent, and that sex which is unprotected even if done upon consent of complainant in Sweden is not allowed (Antigone, pp. 1-4).

Consent principles applied in case of assault too are applicable to sexual assault. Any victim of touch sexually has to understand the act consenting to and freely do so without coercion. Some jurisdictions de-linked consent to acts that can cause harm to the body with laws defining that one cannot consent to such acts. In conclusion, consent in allegations and cases of sexual assault differ from one jurisdiction to another and consequently the definitions and meaning (Gennaro, Jeffrey, Ronald, p. 280).

List of References

Antigone, B., My Feministing: Consent and Sexuality-the murky waters of the Assange rape allegations. 2011, Available at: <http://community.feministing.com/2011/02/23/consent-and-sexuality-%E2%80%93-the-murky-waters-of-the-assange-rape-allegations. February 23, 2011.

Barbara, R, Jeniffer, H, Cunningham, B & Hutchinson, B., NYDailyNews.com: Dominique Strauss-Kahn sex assault case, IMF chief on suicide watch, maid told brother of attack. 2011, Available at: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2011/05/17/2011-05-17_dominique_strausskahn_sex_assault_case_maid_told_brother_someone_attacked_her_he.html. May 17, 2011.

Edmonton Police Service, Community Policing., What is sexual assault and consent, 2011. Available at: http://www.edmontonpolice.ca/CommunityPolicing/PersonalPropertyCrimes/SexualAssault/WhatisSexualAssault.aspx. May 18, 2011.

Siegel, L., Criminology. Artech House Publishing, London, 2008.

Gennaro F, Jeffrey R, Ronald M,
Criminology: theory, research, and policy. Jones & Bartlett Learning, New York, 2006.

Thalia, A., The critical criminology companion. Hawkins Press, New Delhi, 2008.