Rape has a broad legal meaning. It is a crime perpetrated when one person sexually penetrates another without consent. This includes oral, anal and vaginal penetration. It is non-gender specific, as both men and women can be victims or perpetrators.
This offence is serious with long-lasting repercussions. If you have been affected by rape, or need to know your rights, consider hiring a criminal defence lawyer with a good track record and the necessary experience to deal with your case.
Sex is regarded as rape in the following scenarios:
- The accused sexually penetrates another without their consent:
- While being aware that the other person has not or might not have consented; or
- While not considering whether that person has consented.
- After sexual intercourse, the accused does not stop after realising that the other person has not or might not have consented.
- The accused forces another to sexually penetrate or continue penetrating them, another person or an animal. It is immaterial if they alone consent and consent must be given by both or all parties engaged in the sexual act.
Many people are unaware that the different sexual acts defined above, done without consent — amount to rape.
Sexual penetration means inserting any part of the penis in the vagina, anus or mouth. It can also involve inserting any part of an object or body part into the vagina or anus of the other person.
It is still penetration, even if just the tip was inserted, regardless of the length of time. Semen does not have to be present, either.
Consent means freely agreeing. In terms of the law, consent does not occur if any of the following happens:
- Someone physically forced another to engage in the sexual act, or there was fear that a third party would be forced to participate.
- Someone was scared of the repercussions of saying no to the act.
- A person unlawfully held another person against their will.
Consent is also lacking in the following instances:
- The person is asleep, unconscious or intoxicated to the point that they can not be regarded as willingly agreeing to engage in sexual intercourse.
- The person cannot comprehend that the act in question is sexual.
- The alleged victim is mistaken as to the sexual conduct or the identity of the other person.
- The person believes the act must be done for medical or cleansing purposes.
Rape can occur regardless of the relationship between the parties. A man can be found guilty of raping his wife or partner.
Forcing Sexual Penetration
It is unlawful to force another person to engage in sexual penetration, including animals. It is also illegal to demand that someone place an object into their vagina or anus except for genuine medical or cleansing necessity.
If you believe you are a victim of rape or if you need to understand your rights as the accused, you need to act swiftly by securing a lawyer who can handle your case for you. A criminal defence lawyer can help you understand your charges and their ramifications.
They can also assist you with preparing a defence, if any, and whether there are any mitigating circumstances present so that you can get the best outcome during sentencing.
Contact us today if you need help from lawyers who are well-placed to handle this matter on your behalf.