Sexual Assault and the Law

Where Do We Go From Here?

by Janet Nicol

Since the verdict in the Jian Ghomeshi trial last March, burning questions have arisen about the legal rights of women who experience sexual assault and violence.

The case touched off a renewed debate about how the courts treat sexual assault. Experts and activists are now calling for legal reforms, a shift in judicial and societal attitudes, and greater support for women’s crisis centres.

Fortunately, feminist lawyers and sexual assault experts are starting to map out what justice could look like if it were to give rape victims greater agency. In the upcoming issue of Herizons, I asked three experts—Vancouver Rape Relief ’s Lee Lakeman, YWCA Vancouver’s Lisa Rupert and law professor Janine Benedet for some ideas on how that could start to happen.

The full article is available in Herizons magazine, October, 2016  and on-line at the magazine’s website at http://www.herizons.ca/node/597

 

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Note: This article was inspired by a YWCA-sponsored event about the Ghomeshi verdict in Vancouver earlier this year. Seating was at full capacity and women (and men) of diverse ages expressed a keen interest in legal reform.

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