RLC Webinar: Regulating the ‘Rough Sex’ excuse

November 30, 2021

WEBINAR: Regulating the ‘Rough Sex’ excuse
DATE: Wednesday 1st December, 2021
TIME: 6-7pm
BOOK HERE: [Regulating the ‘Rough Sex’ excuse]

A webinar presented by Red Lion member Felicia Davy, with Professor Susan Edwards (Emerita) Buckingham Law School and RLC door tenant and chaired by Jenni Dempster QC, RLC.

When women die at the hands of male partners, an infrequent but nevertheless disturbing defence that she consented to, or initiated, the beating, strangulation and penetration which contributed to her death is emerging. Since the dead cannot speak, the defendant’s tactic in building a case of accident/no intent by arguing that she consented to and desired the abuse he inflicted and thereby impugning the deceased’s character cannot be easily rebutted. While maligning her character in this way, in advancing his case of no intention to kill, the defendant may benefit from a manslaughter verdict and a lighter sentence.

Our panellists consider the increasing use of this ‘rough sex’ narrative in sexual and popular representation and in legal argument to buttress no intent pleas in trials for murder and non-fatal offences, including rape. Whilst the right of the defendant to present his case remains, it is suggested that further reform is needed to address admissibility of character evidence of the dead similar to the s. 41 YJCEA restrictions for live victims and that the sadistic element of ‘rough sex’ is recognised in sentencing guidelines.

Cultural misrepresentations of women’s insatiable desire for sexual violence remain redolent in misogynist film, advertising, fiction and journalism which also must be challenged for providing the scripts for this conduct.

The topics covered in this webinar include:

-The context of rough sex
-The DAA reform and s 70
-The DAA reform and s 71
-What else needs to be done