In a world where facts are hard to distinguish in a pool of fallacies, it is no surprise that our society has more faith in the wrong information than in the right. In this regard, one of the most frequently misunderstood and misinterpreted topics is sexual assault. Fairly speaking, society is not to blame alone for these misconceptions.
In truth, digital media, especially movies, social media, and other such means, play a huge role in misrepresenting the topic. For instance, a movie may depict that kissing someone forcefully is a romantic action. In reality, this forceful act is a serious offence that might get the wrongdoer behind bars.
Even a seemingly trivial act like kissing or caressing is considered sexual assault if one does not obtain consent. Similarly, sometimes the technical language of the various legislations and regulations also confuses readers.
All in all, misrepresentation and miscommunication result in misconceptions. As apparent from the preceding discussion, myths and misconceptions will always be a part of our lives. But that does not mean there isn’t a need to dispel them.
If you are not careful and indulge in an act seemingly harmless but wrong in the eyes of the law, you will face adverse reputational and social consequences besides the penalties. In order to save yourself from the aforementioned consequences, seek legal help from a reputed sexual assault defence lawyer.
As an attempt to play our part in spreading meaningful, helpful, and correct information, we have gathered the most common misconceptions about sexual assault charges in Canada.
Intimate Partners Do Not Need To Obtain Consent
This is where global stereotypical thinking comes in. No matter how civilized or literate our societies become, there are some stereotypical thoughts that we will never be able to completely get rid of. One of them is the belief that husband and wife do not need consent from each other.
While you do not need written or verbal consent from your intimate partner every time you make a sexual move, you must be certain that they approve of the sexual act in some way. According to the Criminal Code Of Canada, a person must take reasonable steps to ensure the victim consents to the sexual activity.
Thus, you must take notice of any encouragement or reluctance in your partner’s behaviour and act accordingly.
Only Women Experience Sexual Assault
Another stereotypical opinion widely accepted is that only women fall prey to sexual abuse. While the fact holds true that most sexually abused victims are women and children, it does not mean men do not experience sexual violence. In truth, men and boys of younger age are common victims of sexual violence.
“Oh! You are a man. How could you be sexually assaulted?” this is the question, or more of a taunt, that deters every sexually assaulted man. In this regard, Canadian law specifically defends the rights of every person regardless of their age, gender, sexual orientation, or ethnic background.
You Can Not Be Charged For Sexual Assault If The Victim Remained Silent
This is another widespread misconception widely held true. Never take silence as a ‘yes.’ Silence does not translate into implied consent. In fact, Canadian law does not legally recognize implied consent. Regardless, if your partner remains silent during any sexual activity, it does not necessarily mean they agree to the deed. The victim may remain silent due to fear or paranoia.
As emphasized earlier, the individual initiating the sexual act must ensure that the victim is consenting to the act. If you failed to understand this concept and are now facing sexual offence charges, request sexual assault defence services from a reputed criminal defence lawyer.
Touching Yourself Or Exposing Your Own Private Areas In Public Is Not An Offence
Many people believe that nothing counts as assault or offence as long as they do it to themselves. However, this is legally wrong. If you expose your private areas, make indecent gestures, or use profane language, you will still be charged with sexual charges.
Sexual Assault Occurs Only When There Is Some Sort Of Physical Contact
This point is an extension of the one above. Unlike popular belief, sexual assault does not only occur when there is physical contact. In contrast, the Criminal Code sets out a wide definition for all the acts that fall into this assault category. As mentioned earlier, even profane gestures can get you behind bars in Canada.
Get a free consultation today to discuss your case with one of our reputed criminal lawyers.
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