ERIC Number: ED394871
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992
Reference Count: N/A
Sexual Robbery: The Missing Concept in the Search for an Appropriate Legal Metaphor for Sexual Aggression.
Renner, K. Edward; Yurchesyn, Kathaleen A.
Political efforts by feminists in the 1970s and early 1980s resulted in the redefinition of rape as physical assault in Canada's 1983 rape law in the Criminal Code. This paper argues that treating a woman's sexuality as "property," as did the rape law prior to 1983, was correct. Redefining rape as sexual assault, and measuring the severity of the crime by the level of physical violence, established the legal and social expectation that the woman must be injured to be a "legitimate" victim. While suggesting rape is akin to robbery means that a woman's sexuality is treated as property, the study believed it would achieve reform by shifting ownership from the domain of a male, as was the case under the old law, to the woman herself. Robbery implies the use or threat of force, but unlike assault, does not require harm to the victim as evidence of the robbery. The document examined every case of sexual assault, physical assault, and robbery that appeared before the Halifax Law Courts between 1983 and 1988 to evaluate the proposition that conceptualizing the essence of sexual aggression as "assault" has failed and that "robbery" may be more appropriate. The article provokes discussion about the nature of rape and societal and legal responses to it in law-related education (LRE) settings at secondary, college, or adult education levels. (LH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Canada; Dalhousie University (Nova Scotia)