Tuesday, July 11, 2006

I overreacted

Yesterday, I tried to make a point about a case about an eleven year old who had been raped; and how Canada's low age of consent makes kids like her vulnerable -- that while in many places an accused would be charged with child exploitation; in Canada the charge is all too often statutory rape, no matter how brutal the crime.

Unfortunately, I made the jump to confusing unwanted sexual intercourse with sexual harrassment. I was wrong, and I regret that. So, let me set this straight, if I can.
  • There should be a line drawn between what is proper behaviour and what is not. Sexual harrassmen is always wrong, no matter how subtle (like the kind that goes on in so many workplaces) or overt (such as butt pinching), and there should be consequences. Perhaps not life in bars, but definitely some kind of sanctions.
  • If someone is penetrated without their consent whether it's by a stalker lying in wait or a date rape or spousal rape, the charge should be sexual assault. Period. It should not matter how old or young someone is. And it's in those cases that I think a life sentence would be appropriate, which in Canada -- when no parole eligibility period is attached -- means a minimum of seven years.

It should be up to judges and juries to decide when an offence has taken place, but the baloney has gone on long enough. It's time for people to stand up.

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