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 Raising Rape Conviction Rates

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Should Unverifiable Consent Be Legally Recognized?
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No
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NorthStar

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PostSubject: Raising Rape Conviction Rates   Sat Jun 07, 2008 11:11 pm

I believe that the law should not allow men to engage in sexual activity with a woman without obtaining a verifiable attestation of her consent to the sexual activity. Such a requirement would ease the burden of proving rape by preventing the rapist from claiming that the woman consented. Verifiable attestations of consent could include marriage licenses with consent provisions, other legal partnerships like civil unions, bilateral contracts, and unilateral documents indicating consent.

Rape is very common in the United States. Surveys have found that one-sixth of American women or more have been the victim of sexual assault.

http://www.rainn.org/statistics/index.html

Unfortunately, very few of the perpetrators are imprisoned for their crimes. According to estimates, between just two and six percent of rapists ever spend a day in jail or prison.

http://www.rainn.org/statistics/punishing-rapists.html

http://www2.ucsc.edu/rape-prevention/statistics.html

http://www.jnoelbell.me.uk/2007/01/31/why-rape-doesnt-matter/

One of the primary causes of the low conviction rates is the difficulty of proving that the victim did not consent. Because consent can be delivered orally, women have no way of proving in court that they were unwilling to engage in sexual activity with a man. The difficulty of proving consent is particularly problematic in acquaintance/date rape cases.

By requiring verifiable consent for sexual activity, rape convictions would become much more common and rapes would become substantially less common.
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Maz

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PostSubject: Re: Raising Rape Conviction Rates   Sun Jun 08, 2008 3:43 pm

How exactly would a contract help? If a woman signs one of these contracts, does that mean she can never say no to sex and the man can demand it and take it whenever he feels like it?

If yes, that's a rapists charter.

If no, then the question of consent remains open, and leaves the contract worthless.

I guess the contract could be very specific such as "I am prepared to have sex once, on Friday 18th June, at 1750HRS", "You will withdraw your penis from my vagina on Friday 18th Jun at 1756HRS". But that would be entering the realms of madness as well as turning most people off from sex for ever Shocked
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PostSubject: Re: Raising Rape Conviction Rates   Sun Jun 08, 2008 4:34 pm

I'm going to try to summarize Northstar's idea here.

Let's put aside marital rape for a moment, by promising to punish it as severely as it is now and under the same circumstances.

One of the main problems with obtaining a rape conviction is determining whether or not consent was given. By stating that a marriage license or civil union decree was the only mechanism for consent, this means that any man that has sex with any woman not his wife or civil union partner runs the risk of being accused of and charged with rape at any time.

Because there is no implied consent, i.e. no marriage license or civil union decree, the defendant's claim of rape, i.e. sex without consent, is automatically believed by the court of law.

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PostSubject: Re: Raising Rape Conviction Rates   Sun Jun 08, 2008 5:12 pm

If a marriage licence or civil union decree is the only mechanism for consent to sex, i.e. it is a document of implied consent, and a man rapes his wife, how could the woman ever achieve a conviction when she has given her implied consent to sex? If she could still argue that she refused consent, then what makes her different from a woman who didn't sign a implied consent document? Maybe I'm a bit thick or something, but there seems to be one big fat contradiction in this argument .

Quote :
Because there is no implied consent, i.e. no marriage license or civil union decree, the defendant's claim of rape, i.e. sex without consent, is automatically believed by the court of law.

I disagree. All are equal in law. One cannot force all men to ask for a woman's signature before having sex, on the grounds that if they don't, and they are accused of rape, they will have no defence. My oh my that's pretty repulsive Evil or Very Mad Men need to be convicted on the grounds that they are guilty of rape .... not on the grounds that their right to a defence has been removed.
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PostSubject: Re: Raising Rape Conviction Rates   Sun Jun 08, 2008 6:08 pm

Maz wrote:
How exactly would a contract help?

Requiring a written, notarized contract or other form of verifiable consent would help clarify- after the fact- whether consent had been given. Thus, the lawyers of rapists would not be able to defend their clients on the grounds that the (alleged) victim consented.

Quote :
If a woman signs one of these contracts, does that mean she can never say no to sex and the man can demand it and take it whenever he feels like it?

If the contract- or other verifiable document- specifies that the man can demand and receive sex at virtually any time, then the answer is yes. But that possibility is no different from what can happen under the current rape laws. Under the current legal definition of consent, a woman can give blanket consent to sex as you describe (at least in Minnesota). My proposal would only act to limit the methods by which such consent can be delivered.

https://www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/statutes/?id=609.341

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If yes, that's a rapists charter.

Please explain this assertion. How can a woman freely agree to be raped? That seems like a contradiction in terms.

Quote :
If no, then the question of consent remains open, and leaves the contract worthless.

I guess the contract could be very specific such as "I am prepared to have sex once, on Friday 18th June, at 1750HRS", "You will withdraw your penis from my vagina on Friday 18th Jun at 1756HRS". But that would be entering the realms of madness as well as turning most people off from sex for ever Shocked

Women have the right to insist on such stipulations under the current law. Are you proposing that they should not have that right?

The conundrum that you describe seems unrelated to the issues that my proposal raise. It seems to relate more to the benefits and drawbacks of giving blanket consent.
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PostSubject: Re: Raising Rape Conviction Rates   Sun Jun 08, 2008 6:25 pm

futureshock wrote:
One of the main problems with obtaining a rape conviction is determining whether or not consent was given.

Exactly.

Quote :
By stating that a marriage license or civil union decree was the only mechanism for consent, this means that any man that has sex with any woman not his wife or civil union partner runs the risk of being accused of and charged with rape at any time.

And- more importantly- convicted. But such a requirement would not just improve the ability of rape victims to get justice. It would also help falsely accused men by giving them a verifiable way of asserting that the woman consented to the act of sex.

Keep in mind, too, that these consent documents need not be costly or difficult to obtain. I suspect that marriage has ceased to be a prerequisite for sex because of all the religious and ceremonial overhead associated with getting married.

Quote :
Because there is no implied consent, i.e. no marriage license or civil union decree, the defendant's claim of rape, i.e. sex without consent, is automatically believed by the court of law.

Yes- except that the law could allow other forms of consent as well. My main concern is with limiting indications of consent to forms that can be verified by a court. Do you see any benefit (especially with regard to raising rape conviction rates) of limiting the forms to include only marriage or other ongoing legal relationships?
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PostSubject: Re: Raising Rape Conviction Rates   Sun Jun 08, 2008 6:52 pm

Maz wrote:
If a marriage licence or civil union decree is the only mechanism for consent to sex, i.e. it is a document of implied consent, and a man rapes his wife, how could the woman ever achieve a conviction when she has given her implied consent to sex? If she could still argue that she refused consent, then what makes her different from a woman who didn't sign a implied consent document? Maybe I'm a bit thick or something, but there seems to be one big fat contradiction in this argument .

Quote :
Because there is no implied consent, i.e. no marriage license or civil union decree, the defendant's claim of rape, i.e. sex without consent, is automatically believed by the court of law.

I disagree. All are equal in law. One cannot force all men to ask for a woman's signature before having sex, on the grounds that if they don't, and they are accused of rape, they will have no defence. My oh my that's pretty repulsive Evil or Very Mad Men need to be convicted on the grounds that they are guilty of rape .... not on the grounds that their right to a defence has been removed.

How is rape within marriage determine/verified now?

I'm only trying to figure out what Northstar is trying to say, and I'm keeping it all hypothetical for now.

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PostSubject: Re: Raising Rape Conviction Rates   Sun Jun 08, 2008 7:00 pm

NorthStar wrote:


And- more importantly- convicted. But such a requirement would not just improve the ability of rape victims to get justice. It would also help falsely accused men by giving them a verifiable way of asserting that the woman consented to the act of sex.
This is where you lose me.

I don't get it.

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NorthStar

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PostSubject: Re: Raising Rape Conviction Rates   Sun Jun 08, 2008 7:15 pm

Maz wrote:
If a marriage licence or civil union decree is the only mechanism for consent to sex, i.e. it is a document of implied consent, and a man rapes his wife, how could the woman ever achieve a conviction when she has given her implied consent to sex?

If the marriage license or civil union decree specified blanket consent with virtually no exceptions, then it would be virtually impossible for the man to rape her.

But please note the following points about my proposal.
1) A woman need not enter into such a relationship or stay in such a relationship.
2) The indications allowed could include stipulations- as they can now. Such forms could include marriage licenses with more limited terms and other consent documents.
3) Coercive sex- and, perhaps, even non-coercive forms of sex- could be prosecuted under other charges like assault, battery, false imprisonment, and abuse.
4) The current law allows for similar blanket indications of consent, so my proposal would not fundamentally change the situation.
5) My proposal need not even allow marriage licenses to indicate consent.

Quote :
If she could still argue that she refused consent, then what makes her different from a woman who didn't sign a implied consent document? Maybe I'm a bit thick or something, but there seems to be one big fat contradiction in this argument.

I agree that if a marriage license legally confers consent, the indication should be meaningful.

Quote :
Quote :
Because there is no implied consent, i.e. no marriage license or civil union decree, the defendant's claim of rape, i.e. sex without consent, is automatically believed by the court of law.

I disagree. All are equal in law. One cannot force all men to ask for a woman's signature before having sex, on the grounds that if they don't, and they are accused of rape, they will have no defence.

Why not? The current law requires that the woman express "words or overt actions...indicating a
freely given present agreement to perform a particular sexual act with the actor" or the act will be considered rape. Why would such a requirement be somehow untenable?

Quote :
My oh my that's pretty repulsive Evil or Very Mad Men need to be convicted on the grounds that they are guilty of rape .... not on the grounds that their right to a defence has been removed.

My proposal changes only the form that consent can be indicated- not the substance of what must be indicated. It would in no way remove anyone's rights.
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PostSubject: Re: Raising Rape Conviction Rates   Sun Jun 08, 2008 7:53 pm

futureshock wrote:
NorthStar wrote:


And- more importantly- convicted. But such a requirement would not just improve the ability of rape victims to get justice. It would also help falsely accused men by giving them a verifiable way of asserting that the woman consented to the act of sex.
This is where you lose me.

I don't get it.

Why not? How could a woman's assertion of rape be believed if a court can verify that she consented?
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Maz

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PostSubject: Re: Raising Rape Conviction Rates   Sun Jun 08, 2008 8:23 pm

Quote :

Quote :
Quote :
Because there is no implied consent, i.e. no marriage license or civil union decree, the defendant's claim of rape, i.e. sex without consent, is automatically believed by the court of law.

I disagree. All are equal in law. One cannot force all men to ask for a woman's signature before having sex, on the grounds that if they don't, and they are accused of rape, they will have no defence.

Why not? The current law requires that the woman express "words or overt actions...indicating a
freely given present agreement to perform a particular sexual act with the actor" or the act will be considered rape. Why would such a requirement be somehow untenable?

Becuase you are taking away the man's right to a defence, by stating the claim of rape would be automatically believed in a court of law. All a woman has to do is say "I was raped" and that is enough to condemn a man as a rapist. He cannot defend himself, because the law is "automatically" accepting the claim of rape in this situation.

Yes, the law may require a woman to "express words or overt actions indeed" otherwise it is rape. But the woman also - through the prosecution - needs to provide evidence to a high burden of proof. The man doesn't - he is innocent until poven guilty.

Quote :
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My oh my that's pretty repulsive Evil or Very Mad Men need to be convicted on the grounds that they are guilty of rape .... not on the grounds that their right to a defence has been removed.

My proposal changes only the form that consent can be indicated- not the substance of what must be indicated. It would in no way remove anyone's rights.

But if a woman's claim of rape is accepted automatically - where neither party has signed off implied consent - then the man is losing the right to be treated as innocent until proven guilty, and he is losing his right to a defence, is he not?
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Maz

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PostSubject: Re: Raising Rape Conviction Rates   Sun Jun 08, 2008 8:43 pm

NorthStar wrote:
futureshock wrote:
NorthStar wrote:


And- more importantly- convicted. But such a requirement would not just improve the ability of rape victims to get justice. It would also help falsely accused men by giving them a verifiable way of asserting that the woman consented to the act of sex.
This is where you lose me.

I don't get it.

Why not? How could a woman's assertion of rape be believed if a court can verify that she consented?

But she could have signed the implied consent, but changed her mind during foreplay. Perhaps the man is unpleasant or becomes aggressive in his language so she thinks yuk this isn't for me. She then says no. Does the man have the right to continue?
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NorthStar

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PostSubject: Re: Raising Rape Conviction Rates   Sun Jun 08, 2008 8:57 pm

Maz wrote:
Quote :

Quote :
Quote :
Because there is no implied consent, i.e. no marriage license or civil union decree, the defendant's claim of rape, i.e. sex without consent, is automatically believed by the court of law.

I disagree. All are equal in law. One cannot force all men to ask for a woman's signature before having sex, on the grounds that if they don't, and they are accused of rape, they will have no defence.

Why not? The current law requires that the woman express "words or overt actions...indicating a
freely given present agreement to perform a particular sexual act with the actor" or the act will be considered rape. Why would such a requirement be somehow untenable?

Becuase you are taking away the man's right to a defence, by stating the claim of rape would be automatically believed in a court of law. All a woman has to do is say "I was raped" and that is enough to condemn a man as a rapist. He cannot defend himself, because the law is "automatically" accepting the claim of rape in this situation.

Taken precisely, her statement is incorrect. A prosecutor would still have the burden of proof in rape cases. My proposal would make the burden less burdensome, not remove it altogether.

Quote :
Yes, the law may require a woman to "express words or overt actions indeed" otherwise it is rape. But the woman also - through the prosecution - needs to provide evidence to a high burden of proof. The man doesn't - he is innocent until poven guilty.

I agree that the prosecutor should be required to provide a high level of proof. My proposal would not change that requirement. Rather, it would help prosecutors- as well as defense lawyers- by giving them convincing evidence regarding one important aspect of the case.

The right to the presumption of innocence is not a right to impose an impossible or overwhelming burden on a prosecutor. Increasing the enforceability of a law is a legitimate interest of a state.

Quote :
Quote :
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My oh my that's pretty repulsive Evil or Very Mad Men need to be convicted on the grounds that they are guilty of rape .... not on the grounds that their right to a defence has been removed.

My proposal changes only the form that consent can be indicated- not the substance of what must be indicated. It would in no way remove anyone's rights.

But if a woman's claim of rape is accepted automatically - where neither party has signed off implied consent - then the man is losing the right to be treated as innocent until proven guilty, and he is losing his right to a defence, is he not?

Again, the claim would not be accepted automatically. The prosecutor would still be required to prove that sex occurred. Moreover, no method of establishing verifiable consent is bound to be perfect. For example, a witness or notary could be dishonest or records regarding a civil union could be destroyed in a fire. So proving that consent was withheld would not be automatic, either. But those are the only two components to rape, so why should a prosecutor be required to prove any other fact?
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PostSubject: Re: Raising Rape Conviction Rates   Sun Jun 08, 2008 9:39 pm

Maz wrote:
NorthStar wrote:
futureshock wrote:
NorthStar wrote:


And- more importantly- convicted. But such a requirement would not just improve the ability of rape victims to get justice. It would also help falsely accused men by giving them a verifiable way of asserting that the woman consented to the act of sex.
This is where you lose me.

I don't get it.

Why not? How could a woman's assertion of rape be believed if a court can verify that she consented?

But she could have signed the [document indicating] consent, but changed her mind during foreplay. Perhaps the man is unpleasant or becomes aggressive in his language so she thinks yuk this isn't for me. She then says no. Does the man have the right to continue?

He would have the legal right to continue, as he does under current law, until the woman withdrew her consent.

But I see your concern- what if he stops her from withdrawing her consent? Would the greater difficulty of establishing or removing consent hinder her attempts to withdraw a previously extended indication of consent? Perhaps. But keep a few points in mind.
1) Proving that she orally withdrew consent is not likely to be any easier than proving that he prevented her from withdrawing verifiable consent.
2) Such a problem would likely affect only a proper subset of rapes. A man prowling around at night looking for young women to rape or a man who wants to have sex with his granddaughter are not likely to be able to obtain verifiable consent to sex with their intended victims.
3) A man who prevents a woman from rescinding consent is not likely to respect her utterance of "no."
4) A woman can probably avoid some of these situations by carefully vetting a man before agreeing to have sex with him.
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PostSubject: Re: Raising Rape Conviction Rates   Mon Jun 09, 2008 3:11 pm

would this consent thing go for the kids in todays society who are engaging in sex too?
some kids are having sex and under the age to legally have sex, but do it anyways with their "lovers"
..so if they need to sign a consent form, would the parents have to sign it instead, seeing as they arent old enough to sign it themselves?
and how would you know if they are signing this consent form [adults and teens]
is it like doing your taxes, or paying a bill, where you sign it then send it to whoever is incharge of it??
i think its a little silly...how would this help with rape cases exactally?
if someone wants to rape you, there not going to care if you have to sign some form or not.
they have gun licenses, all kinds of weapon licenses, and people still use the weapons regardless of getting the license.
so how would a piece of paper help anything?
but i think i understand what NorthStar is saying, when she says "it would also help falsly accused men by giving them a verifiable was of asserting that the woman consented to the act of sex", some women let men have sex with them, but then if they get in an argument they could use sex against them and say they took advantage of them, when really, she allowed him to have sex with her. more young girls than older women do this though. too many boys are falsly accused of this kind of thing. so i think it would work out for that kind of thing...but i judt think its silly to have to sign a piece of paper before jumping in bed with someone....
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PostSubject: Re: Raising Rape Conviction Rates   Mon Jun 09, 2008 9:41 pm

krystineM wrote:
would this consent thing go for the kids in todays society who are engaging in sex too?

Under the law, consent must be gained regardless of the age of the woman involved. I see no reason why the consent requirements should be any different if a young woman or girl is involved. If any difference exists, I would think it should work to protect the younger woman or girl.

Quote :
...some kids are having sex and under the age to legally have sex, but do it anyways with their "lovers"..so if they need to sign a consent form, would the parents have to sign it instead, seeing as they arent old enough to sign it themselves?

I am not aware that an age limit for sex exists outside of the limits at which older men can have sex with younger girls. But you raise some interesting issues. I would think that, up to a certain age, no parental bypass would be allowed. A parent would not be able to "let" his or her ten-year-old daughter have sex with a fifty-year-old man. I would prefer that the age at which consent would become legally possible would be eighteen- and that the parents would have no direct authority over the matter. But, given the political realities, I would expect that consent would probably be set at sixteen- at least in Minnesota. Perhaps after that age a parent would need to sign off on the consent.

How do these considerations bear on my proposal?

Quote :
...and how would you know if they are signing this consent form [adults and teens]
is it like doing your taxes, or paying a bill, where you sign it then send it to whoever is incharge of it??

Think about how marriage works. An official must preside over the proceedings, there must be witnesses, and oftentimes family members are present. Then, the proceedings are made official and written down in many places and often recorded. These realities make marriage an excellent vehicle for establishing consent.

My other suggestions could have similar provisions. For example, the state could create unilateral consent documents that are to be witnessed or notarized by officials and, perhaps, recorded on video.

Quote :
i think its a little silly...how would this help with rape cases exactally?

As I stated, requiring verifiable attestations if consent would eliminate much of the problem of establishing whether the alleged victim consented to the act.

Quote :
if someone wants to rape you, there not going to care if you have to sign some form or not.

Why not? Are you saying that the potential of being imprisoned and labeled a rapist would not be a deterrent to many potential rapists? What is your basis?

Quote :
they have gun licenses, all kinds of weapon licenses, and people still use the weapons regardless of getting the license. so how would a piece of paper help anything?

In the case of rape, obtaining consent absolves the possibility that rape can occur.

Quote :
but i think i understand what NorthStar is saying, when she says "it would also help falsly accused men by giving them a verifiable was of asserting that the woman consented to the act of sex", some women let men have sex with them, but then if they get in an argument they could use sex against them and say they took advantage of them, when really, she allowed him to have sex with her. more young girls than older women do this though. too many boys are falsly accused of this kind of thing. so i think it would work out for that kind of thing...but i judt think its silly to have to sign a piece of paper before jumping in bed with someone....

I wonder how many women would prefer to have the simplicity of not requiring verifiable consent from a man and how many would prefer the greater deterrence of that such a requirement would provide. We would not necessarily need to choose the same option for all women. Perhaps there could be some opt-out provision for women who do not want to impose the verifiable consent requirements on men who wish to engage in sex with those women. But I definitely think that some women would be willing to accept the greater overhead to lessen the possibility of rape.
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PostSubject: Re: Raising Rape Conviction Rates   Tue Jun 10, 2008 2:04 pm

NorthStar wrote:


Quote :
if someone wants to rape you, there not going to care if you have to sign some form or not.

Why not? Are you saying that the potential of being imprisoned and labeled a rapist would not be a deterrent to many potential rapists? What is your basis?


Its not a deterrent now to stop any potential rapists. So why would a piece of paper stop in the future. There will always be people willing to take the chance of prison time to do something illegal no piece of paper will ever stop that.
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PostSubject: Re: Raising Rape Conviction Rates   Tue Jun 10, 2008 3:01 pm

RebelCats wrote:
NorthStar wrote:


Quote :
if someone wants to rape you, there not going to care if you have to sign some form or not.

Why not? Are you saying that the potential of being imprisoned and labeled a rapist would not be a deterrent to many potential rapists? What is your basis?


Its not a deterrent now to stop any potential rapists. So why would a piece of paper stop in the future. There will always be people willing to take the chance of prison time to do something illegal no piece of paper will ever stop that.

exactally.
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PostSubject: Re: Raising Rape Conviction Rates   Tue Jun 10, 2008 8:04 pm

RebelCats wrote:
NorthStar wrote:
Are you saying that the potential of being imprisoned and labeled a rapist would not be a deterrent to many potential rapists? What is your basis?

Its not a deterrent now to stop any potential rapists.

How did you come to that conclusion?

Quote :
So why would a piece of paper stop in the future.

As I stated, verifiable attestations of consent would make proving consent much easier.

Quote :
There will always be people willing to take the chance of prison time to do something illegal no piece of paper will ever stop that.

Even assuming that the potential of prison has no deterrent effect whatsoever, increased incarceration would still suppress the number of rapes because fewer rapists would be free to rape.
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PostSubject: Re: Raising Rape Conviction Rates   Tue Jun 10, 2008 9:27 pm

you dont actually think that every rapist is on the rapist hit list do you?
there are some out there, that the police do not know about.
So with that, a guy who could seemingly be a nice stand up guy, could just be putting on an act, and you just signed consent for him to have sex with you. And in the end he could have taken advantage of you, raped you, abused you..but wait, theres that piece of paper that says you allowed him to have sex with you, therefore he did not rape you.

People who sign marriage liscences sign a piece of paper saying they will be faithful, stick by that person through sickness and in health, love them unconditionally, they dont always stick by to those "rules", and sometimes their partner is not faithful, and could abuse him/her, people still commit crimes even though its "against the law", and so much more...but a piece of paper signing consent for sex is going to stop all this?
Look at our society. You need a liscense to buy a gun, open up a business, buy a dog/cat, own any weapon, and there are people out there who STILL get all these things without that piece of paper. So why would a piece of paper stop someone from having sex with someone.
How would it stop or change any of this?
You have a great idea for this, but let's be realistic, no one is going to want to sign some paper to have a one night stand with someone, to be in a relationship with them for a while and have sex with them, or just be a "friend with benefits". People just want the ride.
And rapists, they dont care about some paper. They see something they want, they'll take it. Its against the law to rape, but they still do it. So how would some little piece of paper that can be burned stop them from doing so.
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PostSubject: Re: Raising Rape Conviction Rates   Tue Jun 10, 2008 10:46 pm

Even if the piece of paper doesn't deter rapists it wouldn't make the incidence of rape any worse, and it would make the conviction rate much higher.

Here's the trial:

1) lawyer for woman: here is a dna sample of the defendant's that was taken from the victim.
He has no consent form.

2) judge says to defendant: do you have a signed consent form?

3) defendant: no

4) judge says, well we have your dna here so we know you had sex with this woman. We also know she did not consent because you have no consent form.

GUILTY.

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krystineM

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PostSubject: Re: Raising Rape Conviction Rates   Wed Jun 11, 2008 1:33 pm

So what about a man and woman who have sex, without this consent form.
The man did not rape the woman, they both are in a committed replationship, and just did not want to hassle of waiting for some paper saying they can have sex together, so they have sex without signing this consent form.
Is it still rape?
Would the man be charged with rape for not having some piece of paper saying he was allowed to have sex with this woman?

And what about an issue where a man and woman do have a consent form, but the man is really some ass hole, and rapes her.
She gave consent to having sex, because he acted like a stand up guy, was really nice and "the man of her dreams" type.
He rapes her, but she gave consent to having sex. Would he be charged with rape still?
He has the consent form in hand.
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Maz

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PostSubject: Re: Raising Rape Conviction Rates   Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:50 pm

krystineM wrote:
So what about a man and woman who have sex, without this consent form.
The man did not rape the woman, they both are in a committed replationship, and just did not want to hassle of waiting for some paper saying they can have sex together, so they have sex without signing this consent form.
Is it still rape?
Would the man be charged with rape for not having some piece of paper saying he was allowed to have sex with this woman?

And what about an issue where a man and woman do have a consent form, but the man is really some ass hole, and rapes her.
She gave consent to having sex, because he acted like a stand up guy, was really nice and "the man of her dreams" type.
He rapes her, but she gave consent to having sex. Would he be charged with rape still?
He has the consent form in hand.

I agree with the points you make entirely, krystine.

These proposals, in my view, may well make the conviction rate high, but it will also ensure that there will be a higher risk of miscarriages of justice. Contract or no contract, for a man be convicted of a sex crime, the burden of proof lies on the accuser NOT the accused. The prosecution has to prove that to a standard of "beyond reasonable doubt" the man committed rape. It is because the burden of proof is so high that there are so few successful prosecutions for "date rape", because you cannot convict one person of a serious criminal act, simply on the word of another person. Are these documents enough to reach the high burden required in a court? No, IMO.

But if the burden of proof still remains high, and that a man still has the right to a full defence, then why bother with all these contracts? Because a consent form doesn't prove or disprove whether or not a rape took place. As already stated, a woman can sign a form and still claim she was raped. A man could sign the contract and still commit rape. It still comes down to that moment when the penis enters the woman's body: was she consenting (or *still* consenting)? At that SPECIFIC MOMENT, was the sex consensual?

The only way you can increase the conviction rate in cases of date rape - where the crime is one person's word against another - is to reduce the burden of proof for this particular crime...and that would be a far greater abomination than the low conviction rates, IMO.
So what can we do? I suppose education is the key. Reduce the lack of respect shown to women in general in our society, ensure parents raise their boys to respect women and to understand that no means no, and that women having a drink in a bar doesn't mean you have a free ticket to jump on them. Its not the only answer, but it would be a good start.
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krystineM

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PostSubject: Re: Raising Rape Conviction Rates   Thu Jun 12, 2008 2:14 pm

i agree with what you said 100%
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NorthStar

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PostSubject: Re: Raising Rape Conviction Rates   Fri Jun 13, 2008 11:06 pm

krystineM wrote:
you dont actually think that every rapist is on the rapist hit list do you?
there are some out there, that the police do not know about.
So with that, a guy who could seemingly be a nice stand up guy, could just be putting on an act, and you just signed consent for him to have sex with you. And in the end he could have taken advantage of you, raped you, abused you..but wait, theres that piece of paper that says you allowed him to have sex with you, therefore he did not rape you.

How is this scenario any different than what can occur under the current law?

Quote :
People who sign marriage liscences sign a piece of paper saying they will be faithful, stick by that person through sickness and in health, love them unconditionally, they dont always stick by to those "rules", and sometimes their partner is not faithful, and could abuse him/her, people still commit crimes even though its "against the law", and so much more...but a piece of paper signing consent for sex is going to stop all this?

In which post did anyone make such an assertion?

Quote :
Look at our society. You need a liscense to buy a gun, open up a business, buy a dog/cat, own any weapon, and there are people out there who STILL get all these things without that piece of paper. So why would a piece of paper stop someone from having sex with someone.

What evidence do you have that gun licensure laws fail to suppress gun ownership by unlicensed people?

Failure to get a cat ownership license seems hardly comparable to being deemed a rapist by a court.

Quote :
How would it stop or change any of this?

As I have said and now even futureshock is saying, a requirement that attestations of consent be verifiable would increase rape conviction rates.

Quote :
You have a great idea for this, but let's be realistic, no one is going to want to sign some paper to have a one night stand with someone, to be in a relationship with them for a while and have sex with them, or just be a "friend with benefits". People just want the ride.

I have heard this argument before- that verifiable consent would create too much overhead for "one-night stands." I am not sure this problem would be so significant, however. Are low-overhead one-time sexual encounters really so much of a priority for women that they are willing to raise their risk of being raped? Would you do that? If one-time sexual encounters are so important for some women, why would the overhead be such a problem? I suspect that some women who have such encounters would gladly welcome my proposal. Those women do not like to be raped any more than other women.

Women who are in committed long-term relationships would have much to gain and little to lose by a verifiable consent requirement.

Quote :
And rapists, they dont care about some paper. They see something they want, they'll take it. Its against the law to rape, but they still do it.

Some will. Others will respond to the deterrent effect of facing prison time by refraining from raping. And as I pointed out earlier, and imprisoned rapist cannot commit rape. (Except for prison rape, which is another abomination that is entirely preventable.)

Quote :
So how would some little piece of paper that can be burned stop them from doing so.

I would specify in the statute the specific forms of consent that can be used. None of them would consist of a mere piece of paper. Rather, the minimal form that I would permit would be a signed piece of paper, a witness, and duplicates of the paper in safe locations.
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