sexual offences in law

British police use tea as analogy for sexual consent

Tea, it’s a bad idea!


Sexual consent is simple. We should all be clear what constitutes rape Alison Saunders
“1. Men now have to prove that they got consent
No. There has been no change in the law – the prosecution has to prove that consent was not given, but in considering that we will, of course, consider what made someone, for instance, reasonably believe that such consent was given. Similarly we will consider what made the woman consider that consent was not given. This is not in any way a change in the burden of proof. That remains with us.

2. Men and women are treated differently because a man will be prosecuted for having sex when he is drunk whereas a woman is treated as a victim
No. Gender is not a deciding factor. This has been discussed publicly as if it is clear cut – and I have read hundreds of these cases and they are never straightforward. I think there is an assumption that the authorities consider men the suspects and women the victims – that is not true, and is offensive to both genders. Each case is different.

We demand that women live in fear and behave impeccably to avoid ‘asking for it’
Kate Harding
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3. A woman can change her mind after the event
No. The circumstances we consider will look at what made a suspect think that consent was given at the time. I think there is confusion here about the freedom and capacity to consent. In grooming cases, for instance, we have seen victims who did not realise that the pressure they were put under meant that they had not freely consented to sex. Evidence suggests that false rape claims are extremely rare.

4. Prosecutors will believe anything that a complainant tells them – and will prosecute on the word of that complainant alone
No. We should always look at all the circumstances of a case so that as full a picture as possible can be gathered. Where, in the past, it seems to me that an over-suspicious or sceptical view of complainants’ accounts pervaded, we now approach these cases without judgment, prejudice or preconceptions.”


Is This Rape? Sex on Trial


“Rape (section 1)

The elements of rape are:

(A) intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of another person (B) with his penis;
(B) does not consent to the penetration, and
(A) does not reasonably believe that (B) consents
Penetration of the mouth is included.

Rape is still a crime of basic intent, and drunkenness is no defence.


Rape is indictable only and carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.”

Sexual Offences Act 2003

Consent: Two persons are said to consent when they agree upon the same thing in the same sense.



Date rape drug
“A date rape drug, also referred to as a predator drug, is any drug that is an incapacitating agent which, when administered to another person, incapacitates the person and renders them vulnerable to a drug facilitated sexual assault (DFSA), including rape. The most common types of DFSA are those in which a victim consumes alcohol or ingests a recreational drug or had them administered surreptitiously while among friends.[1] The most common form of DFSA is alcohol-related,[2] with the victim in most cases consuming the alcohol voluntarily. Other date rape drugs that have been used include rohypnol, ketamine and gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), besides others.”

Drink spiking and date rape drugs
“It’s important to note that drink spiking is illegal, whether or not a theft or assault has been carried out. It can result in a maximum of 10 years in prison for anyone who is found guilty.
If an assault, rape or robbery has also taken place, the sentence will be even higher. Sexual assault is an act that is carried out without the victim’s active consent. This means they didn’t agree to it, even if they have taken drugs or alcohol voluntarily.”

Date Rape Drugs
“Date rape drugs are drugs used to assist in a sexual assault, which is any type of sexual activity a person does not agree to.
These drugs can affect you very quickly and cause victims to become weak, confused, and even pass out. You may not remember what happened while you were drugged. Date rape drugs can also cause seizures and even death.
The most common date rape drugs – also called “club drugs” – are flunitrazepam (Rohypnol), also called roofies; gamma hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), also called liquid ecstasy; and ketamine, also called Special K. These drugs may come as pills, liquids, or powders.
Alcohol may also be considered a date rape drug because it affects judgment and behavior and can be used to help commit sexual assault.
The club drug “ecstasy” (MDMA) has also been used to commit sexual assault.
Protect yourself by not accepting drinks from others, not sharing drinks, watching your drink, and having a non-drinking friend with you to make sure nothing happens.
If you suspect you have been exposed to a date rape drug or have been sexually assaulted, call 911 and get to an emergency room immediately.
Contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE if you need assistance.”

Date rape drugs fact sheet
“How can I protect myself from being a victim?

Don’t accept drinks from other people.
Open containers yourself.
Keep your drink with you at all times, even when you go to the bathroom.
Don’t share drinks.
Don’t drink from punch bowls or other common, open containers. They may already have drugs in them.
If someone offers to get you a drink from a bar or at a party, go with the person to order your drink. Watch the drink being poured and carry it yourself.
Don’t drink anything that tastes or smells strange. Sometimes, GHB tastes salty.
Have a nondrinking friend with you to make sure nothing happens.
If you realize you left your drink unattended, pour it out.
If you feel drunk and haven’t drunk any alcohol — or, if you feel like the effects of drinking alcohol are stronger than usual — get help right away.
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Are there ways to tell if I might have been drugged and raped?

It is often hard to tell. Most victims don’t remember being drugged or assaulted. The victim might not be aware of the attack until 8 or 12 hours after it occurred. These drugs also leave the body very quickly. Once a victim gets help, there might be no proof that drugs were involved in the attack. But there are some signs that you might have been drugged:

You feel drunk and haven’t drunk any alcohol — or, you feel like the effects of drinking alcohol are stronger than usual.
You wake up feeling very hung over and disoriented or having no memory of a period of time.
You remember having a drink, but cannot recall anything after that.
You find that your clothes are torn or not on right.
You feel like you had sex, but you cannot remember it.
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What should I do if I think I’ve been drugged and raped?

Get medical care right away. Call 911 or have a trusted friend take you to a hospital emergency room. Don’t urinate, douche, bathe, brush your teeth, wash your hands, change clothes, or eat or drink before you go. These things may give evidence of the rape. The hospital will use a “rape kit” to collect evidence.
Call the police from the hospital. Tell the police exactly what you remember. Be honest about all your activities. Remember, nothing you did — including drinking alcohol or doing drugs — can justify rape.
Ask the hospital to take a urine (pee) sample that can be used to test for date rape drugs. The drugs leave your system quickly. Rohypnol stays in the body for several hours, and can be detected in the urine up to 72 hours after taking it. GHB leaves the body in 12 hours. Don’t urinate before going to the hospital.
Don’t pick up or clean up where you think the assault might have occurred. There could be evidence left behind — such as on a drinking glass or bed sheets.
Get counseling and treatment. Feelings of shame, guilt, fear, and shock are normal. A counselor can help you work through these emotions and begin the healing process. Calling a crisis center or a hotline is a good place to start. One national hotline is the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE.”