The world has changed. We live in a digital age. Numerous phone applications and websites exist where people can find dates and sexual partners at the tip of their fingers. People “hook up” after texting with someone and confirm that they will have a sexual encounter. Consent is clear and fully understood: “Let’s meet. If we like each other, we will have sex.”
It used to be that when people would go on a date, one party would test the waters and see how far he or she could touch the person until that person said no. For example, the man would touch a woman on her knee, maybe touch her back, try to kiss her, touch her breasts and maybe attempt to start sexual relations. At any point, the woman could say no, and stop him. The issue would stop there for that evening, to be tested on another date. Dating involved, and still does involve, “testing the waters”, seeing how far your partner would consent, and stopping when one person said “no”.
A sexual assault is any act in which a person sexually touches another without their consent, or if there is coercion or physical violence.
Let’s talk about consent. Consent needs to be clear and voluntary; it needs to be expressed by the words or conduct of the person who is giving it. Does that mean you need to hear express “Yes” to every act? Does “testing the waters” and seeing how far your potential partner will accept potential sexual encounters mean you’re pushing the boundaries of consent? Do you have to ask for permission before every physical contact that could lead to sex?
It’s illogical to think that on a date, before touching your date’s hand, arm, leg, back, or breasts, you have to ask “Do you mind if I touch you here?” It’s illogical to think that before any new physical contact, you need to receive clear spoken consent.
Consent does not have to be spoken. Consent exists if your partner submits or allows you to make contact, without being forced or coerced, of course. You don't need to check before every move. No need to get a “yes” before you kiss your date.
This ease of "hook ups" along with the voice people have developed online has turned allegations of sexual assault (from groping to rape) into a crime before the accused have had the opportunity to defend themselves in court. The accused are now being shamed online, fired or forced out of their job and their relationships will never be the same, contact my office today to have a legal team on your side and clear your name.
The #MeToo and #TIMESUP movement has enabled people to make complaints about others online. Through #MeToo, people have found support from being prey to inappropriate sexual behaviours. They found the support and strength needed to report the inappropriate behaviours to the police and launch a criminal investigation. However, this movement has also allowed some people to exaggerate their claim of inappropriate sexual behaviours. All of a sudden, a date where sexual contact is regretted the next day for whatever reason can be turned into a “sexual assault”. It’s not unheard of for people to make a complaint of sexual assault to the police, because they regretted their consent to sexual relations.
As a sexual assault lawyer, Celine Dostaler has helped numerous individuals wrongly accused of sexual assault. If your partner consented to having sex, you need a strong criminal defence lawyer to defend your rights. Don't plead guilty, call an Ottawa Sexual Offence Lawyer today.