Sexual Assault

“Advanced” Consent

There’s an interesting case in Canada right now that I am watching, as many of you probably are. It addresses the issue of  advanced consent (their term, not mine). The crux of the matter hinges on a critical question: Can you consent to sex when you “allow” yourself to be strangled until you’re unconscious? The case involves a woman who reported she allowed herself to be strangled to unconsciousness and was then anally penetrated by her partner while unconscious. She testified at his trial that she did not give permission for this, although she later recanted. He was convicted of sexual assault, but his conviction was overturned on appeal.

The Canadian Supreme Court, many years ago, ruled there was no such thing as implied consent, so it’s interesting that they’re considering this case. And, of course, there is the issue of whether there were other coercive dynamics at work in this particular relationship that set the stage for the acts that led to this case. That, however, is a conversation for another post.

You can read a brief synopsis of the case here, here or here (the official SCC synopsis and info). Reporting on yesterday’s hearing can be found here.

(Update: Definitely check out Jaclyn Friedman’s excellent comments on the case over at Amplify.)