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what is a sexual assault?

(45 Posts)
applebough Wed 31-Oct-12 11:41:24

Just that question really?
Is it an assault if it was just something really unsavoury that you didn't like?
Is it an assault when you can't react because prior experience tells you that this will create a massive row and you can't risk waking dcs?

MissWinklyParadiso Wed 31-Oct-12 11:46:23

Any unwanted sexual touching is a sexual assault. If you were too afraid to say no to something then it was almost certainly an assault but would need more details to say for certain.

OneMoreChap Wed 31-Oct-12 11:53:56

If you didn't consent, or weren't in a state to give consent, it was a sexual assault.

applebough Wed 31-Oct-12 12:00:32

If you think 'wtf? no!!' but can't say/ choose not to say due to certain factors,
broadcasting to the nation
believe you should comply
can't wake children
at work
know dp will become angry
don't want a big row

cupcake78 Wed 31-Oct-12 12:03:12

Any unasked,unwanted or forced physical contact by another person on any part of you that makes you feel violated or uncomfortable. Specifically with sexual or flirtatious undertones!

Your body, you decide who touches it and where.

CogitoEerilySpooky Wed 31-Oct-12 12:10:06

Assault is a criminal offence defined as follows

Sexual assault.

(1)A person (A) commits an offence if— .
(a)he intentionally touches another person (B), .
(b)the touching is sexual, .
(c)B does not consent to the touching, and .
(d)A does not reasonably believe that B consents. .
(2)Whether a belief is reasonable is to be determined having regard to all the circumstances, including any steps A has taken to ascertain whether B consents. .
(3)Sections 75 and 76 apply to an offence under this section. .
(4)A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable— .
(a)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or both; .
(b)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years.

MissWinklyParadiso Wed 31-Oct-12 12:14:34

A person touching should ensure they have consent, which in this case they clearly didn't - the onus is on them to make sure they have a yes, not on you to say no.

applebough Wed 31-Oct-12 12:15:00

You see, the definition just doesn't seem to cover the grey area of what if this was in a relationship where consent was assumed, the person involved didn't say 'NO' or stop things, etc.
So then I suppose it's just 'one to chalk down to experience' or 'bad sexual ettiquette' on the part of the 'victim' as opposed to a crime/abusive act?
Can't be more specific

CogitoEerilySpooky Wed 31-Oct-12 12:17:54

You may not be able to successfully prosecute someone for sexual assault, necessarily, but that does not mean that abuse or assault didn't take place.

MoelFammau Wed 31-Oct-12 12:21:23

I'd also like clarification if possible.

Several years ago I was in a workshop making something. It involved me turning a lathe with one hand while guiding a sculpting tool with the other. I was focused on the task. My hand turning the lathe hit something hard and hot. I looked across and my boss had opened his pants, whipped out his erect penis and moved so that I would touch it.

Is THAT sexual assault? I complained that it was but was fobbed off.

OneMoreChap Wed 31-Oct-12 12:21:57

DW and I have both had sleepy sex where the other initiates something before consent is given.

We quite like that. If she said "No I want to sleep, " I'd stop. If I sighed and turned over the other way, she'd stop.

Consent doesn't have to be verbal, and you'd know whether your partner reasonably consents. If you're a caring partner.

CogitoEerilySpooky Wed 31-Oct-12 12:25:07

@MoelFammau... yes, that was sexual assault and also gross misconduct. If you were fobbed off wherever it was you were working you could have reported him to the police.

applebough Wed 31-Oct-12 12:26:02

MoelFammau ugh your repulsive boss!
THAT seems totally clear cut to me!

I agree onemorechap. Again then, a grey area when your 'd'p says straight afterwards that they knew you didn't like that and oh so caringly asks if you would like to talk about it.

But the next day and ever afterwards you are the one in the wrong for having stated that it was not on.

MissWinklyParadiso Wed 31-Oct-12 12:30:19

There's a huge gap between what is an assault and what can be proved in court applebough but make no mistake, you are NOT in the wrong.

CogitoEerilySpooky Wed 31-Oct-12 12:34:49

What you're describing in a domestic setting applebough is sexual bullying/abuse/coercion. It is not always possible to prosecute it through the courts but any form of domestic abuse is intolerable. Anyone who uses coercion or aggression to get you to reluctantly agree to sex against your better judgement is, at best a nasty piece of work and, at worst, a rapist.

You're not in the wrong for objecting. If this is happening to you regularly talk to Womens Aid and make plans to get yourself away from this abuser.

applebough Wed 31-Oct-12 12:35:08

I'm not feeling litigious, I suppose I just want to be really clear in my mind.
I consented initially (within relationship)
I rapidly became VERY uncomfortable and unhappy
I couldn't make a fuss
I sort of 'went into myself'
It went from a bit unsavoury to actually frightening
Then it was over
And I still can't get it straight in my mind.

CogitoEerilySpooky Wed 31-Oct-12 12:39:21

The reason you can't get it straight in your mind is because you were successfully manipulated (groomed) into believing that you couldn't make a fuss at the time. You went into yourself because you knew it was wrong & frightening but you were being told it was normal and that you were the one in the wrong. It's the disconnect between what you know in your heart and what you are being told by the person that's supposed to care about you that is confusing.

Abusers all work the same way.

MoelFammau Wed 31-Oct-12 12:54:35

It happened in 2004/5. Could I still tell the police? I just feel really angry that the swine got away with it. He did it to a lot of women in the workshop.

CogitoEerilySpooky Wed 31-Oct-12 12:59:38

As we've found with the recent Savile revelations and, prior to that, evil priests and other abusers a) there is no moritorium on accusations of sexual assault, b) if no-one speak outs, nothing happens and c) if enough people speak out, it gets taken a lot more seriously than one voice in isolation

If I was in your situation therefore, I would be making efforts to contact others who had similar experiences and then get as many to report it as possible. Weight of accusation seems to be the way forward.

applebough Wed 31-Oct-12 13:05:01

Sounds like he deserves it Moel
You're 'fortunate' in a sense that this was clear cut sexual assault and harrassment in the workplace, which is legally covered.

In a relationship, what is this stuff called? bad manners? miscommunication? assault? abuse? rape?

CogitoEerilySpooky Wed 31-Oct-12 13:08:02

Abuse is the general term. If it's a series of events, some more serious than others, enacted over a long period of time rather than a few isolated incidents, it's classed as 'Domestic Abuse'.

applebough Wed 31-Oct-12 13:18:24

It annoys me because beyond getting out of the relationship and ceasing contact, there is NO comeback, none.

bitbizzare Wed 31-Oct-12 13:29:11

I've actually been wondering that too for a while.

If someone squeezed your breasts and bruised them, but they were a) only eight and b) three years younger than me at the time , is that assualt or is it just kids mucking about? Also if people touch you but from behind and through clothing, pretending to "hump" you etc? I have memories of things that happened to me as a child/teenager but have never been sure whether it was assualt or not.

dequoisagitil Wed 31-Oct-12 13:32:33

Having given consent once or even many times to something doesn't mean the other person has consent from you always.

applebough Wed 31-Oct-12 13:56:20

Bitbizarre- a boy at school used to do groping stuff all the time, and in lessons, we all just laughed it off at the time- even felt 'flattered'. What makes girls accept that their bodies are not their own? Why are the boundaries so blurred?
Also at work as an adult being asked if I had ever heard of wonderbras!

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