There are a number of sexual offences under the law of England and Wales, the law of Scotland, and the law of Northern Ireland (which function as three separate systems for this purpose).

Eurostat rapes reported to police in UK 2008–2015

Rape

Rape has the same statutory definition for all three jurisdictions. Each jurisdiction has its own case law on the interpretation of that legislation. The statutory definition is:

If a person ("A"), with A's penis – penetrates to any extent, without (1) another person ("B") consenting, and (2) without any reasonable belief that B consents, either intending to do so or reckless as to whether there is penetration, the vagina, anus or mouth of B then – A commits an offence, to be known as the offence of rape.[1][2][3]

It is therefore only legally possible for a cisgender woman to be guilty of rape if they assist a male assailant in an attack on a third party. Otherwise, a female can be charged with assault by penetration or causing sexual activity without consent, both of which carry similar sentences to rape.[4] The age of consent in all three legal jurisdictions in the United Kingdom is set at 16, a person under 16 years of age is deemed legally incapable of consenting to sexual activity by law. With regard to legal definitions, the law defines sexual activity with underage teenagers (aged 13-15) under the crime of ‘sexual activity with a child’ - when a child is under 13, the definition in question is automatically shifted to rape, irrespective of context.[5]

Of women aged 16 to 59 in England & Wales interviewed for the 2006/07 British Crime Survey, 0.5% (1 in every 200) reported that they had suffered rape or attempted rape in the previous year, equating to approximately 85,000 nationally. In the same year, less than 800 persons were convicted of rape.[6][7]

England and Wales

Main article: Sexual offences in English law

In England and Wales, there are non-consensual offences of rape, assault by penetration, sexual assault, and sexual activity without consent.[8] There are a number of sexual offences against children under 13,[9] against children under 16,[10] and against child family members.[11] There are a number of sexual offences of abuse of position of trust.[12] There are a number of sexual offences against persons with a mental disorder impeding choice,[13] and of using inducement, threat or deception against person with a mental disorder.[14] There are a number of sexual offences that consist of conduct by care workers against persons with a mental disorder.[15] There is an offence of paying for sexual services of a child,[16] a number of offences relating to child prostitution or pornography,[17] and number of offences relating to indecent photographs of children.[18] There is an offence of extreme pornography.[19] There are offences of loitering or soliciting for purposes of prostitution,[20] and causing, inciting or controlling prostitution for gain.[21] There is an offence of paying for sexual services of a prostitute subjected to force.[22] There are a number of offences relating to brothels and premises used for prostitution.[23] There are a number of offences of trafficking for sexual exploitation,[24] a number of sexual preparatory offences,[25] and a number of offences of sex with an adult relative.[26] There are offences of exposure, voyeurism, bestiality, necrophilia and sexual activity in a public lavatory.[27]

There are notification requirements for sexual offenders.[28] There are powers to impose notification orders, sexual harm prevention orders and sexual risk orders on sexual offenders.[29] There are powers of entry and search against the homes of sexual offenders.[30]

There is statutory provision for the anonymity of victims of sexual offences.[31]

Northern Ireland

Main article: Sexual offences in Northern Ireland law

In Northern Ireland, there are offences of rape, assault by penetration, sexual assault and sexual activity without consent.[32] There are a number of sexual offences against children under 13,[33] against children under 16,[34] and against child family members.[35] There are a number of sexual offences of abuse of position of trust.[36] There is an offence of paying for sexual services of a child,[37] a number of offences relating to child prostitution or pornography,[38] and number of offences relating to indecent photographs of children.[39] There are a number of sexual offences against persons with a mental disorder impeding choice,[40] and of using inducement, threat or deception against person with a mental disorder.[41] There are a number of sexual offences that consist of conduct by care workers against persons with a mental disorder.[42] There is an offence of extreme pornography.[43] There are offences of loitering or soliciting for purposes of prostitution, kerb-crawling and persistent soliciting,[44] There are a number of offences of causing, inciting or controlling prostitution for gain,[45] and there is an offence of keeping a brothel used for prostitution.[46] There is an offence of paying for sexual services of a person.[47] There are a number of sexual preparatory offences,[48] and a number of offences of sex with an adult relative.[49] There are offences of exposure, voyeurism, bestiality, necrophilia and sexual activity in a public lavatory.[50]

Scotland

Main article: Sexual offences in Scots law

In Scotland, there are offences of rape, sexual assault by penetration, sexual assault, sexual coercion, coercing a person into being present during a sexual activity, coercing a person into looking at a sexual image, communicating indecently, sexual exposure, voyeurism, and administering a substance for sexual purposes,[51] and there is a sexual offence of unlawful detention.[52] There are offences of incest and intercourse with step-child.[53] There is a sexual offence of procuring.[54] There are a number of sexual offences against young children,[55] and against older children.[56] There is a sexual offence of meeting a child,[57] and there are a number of offences of sexual abuse of trust.[58] There are a number of offences relating to the sexual services of children and child pornography,[59] and there are a number of offences relating to indecent photographs of children.[60] There are a number of offences relating to the prostitution or seduction of, and premises used for intercourse by, girls under 16.[61] There are offences of trading in prostitution and brothel-keeping, allowing children to be in brothels, and living on earnings of another from male prostitution.[62] There are a number of offences of soliciting, importuning or loitering for the purpose of prostitution.[63] There is an offence of extreme pornography.[64]

There is statutory provision in relation to procedure and evidence on trials for sexual offences,[65] and pardons and disregards for sodomy offences.[66]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Sexual Offences Act 2003 c. 42 Part 1 Section 1". The National Archives. 2003. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  2. ^ "Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009 Section 1". The National Archives. 2009. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  3. ^ "The Sexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 2008 No. 1769 (N.I. 2) PART 2". The National Archives. 2008. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  4. ^ "Rape and Sexual Offences - Chapter 7: Key Legislation and Offences". Crown Prosecution Service.
  5. ^ "Blog: is the law on rape sexist?". blmsolicitors.co.uk. Bastian Lloyd Morris LLP solicitor advocates. 9 March 2014. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  6. ^ Povey, David; Coleman, Kathryn; Kaiza, Peter; Hoare, Jacqueline; Jansson, Krista (2008). Homicides, firearm offences and intimate violence 2006/07 (supplementary volume 2 to crime in England and Wales 2006/07). London: Office for National Statistics. ISBN 9781847265753. Pdf.
  7. ^ Easton, Mark (9 July 2008). "Rape: a complex crime". London: BBC. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  8. ^ The Sexual Offences Act 2003, ss 1 to 4
  9. ^ The Sexual Offences Act 2003, ss 5 to 8
  10. ^ The Sexual Offences Act 2003, ss 9 to 15A
  11. ^ The Sexual Offences Act 2003, ss 25 and 26
  12. ^ The Sexual Offences Act 2003, ss 16 to 19
  13. ^ The Sexual Offences Act 2003, ss 30 to 33
  14. ^ The Sexual Offences Act 2003, ss 34 to 37
  15. ^ The Sexual Offences Act 2003, ss 38 to 41
  16. ^ The Sexual Offences Act 2003, s 47
  17. ^ The Sexual Offences Act 2003, ss 48 to 50
  18. ^ The Protection of Children Act 1978, s 1; the Criminal Justice Act 1988, s 160
  19. ^ The Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, s 63
  20. ^ The Street Offences Act 1959, s 1; the Sexual Offences Act 2003, s 51A
  21. ^ The Sexual Offences Act 2003, ss 52 and 53
  22. ^ The Sexual Offences Act 2003, s 53A
  23. ^ The Sexual Offences Act 1956, ss 33 to 36
  24. ^ The Sexual Offences Act 2003, ss 57 to 59
  25. ^ The Sexual Offences Act 2003, ss 61 to 63
  26. ^ The Sexual Offences Act 2003, ss 64 and 65
  27. ^ The Sexual Offences Act 2003, ss 66, 67 and 69 to 71
  28. ^ The Sexual Offences Act 2003, ss 80 to 92
  29. ^ The Sexual Offences Act 2003, ss 97 to 103, 103A to 103K and 122A to 122K
  30. ^ The Sexual Offences Act 2003, s 96B
  31. ^ The Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 1992
  32. ^ The Sexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 2008, arts 5 to 8
  33. ^ The Sexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 2008, arts 12 to 15
  34. ^ The Sexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 2008, arts 16 to 22A
  35. ^ The Sexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 2008, arts 32 and 33
  36. ^ The Sexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 2008, arts 23 to 26
  37. ^ The Sexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 2008, art 37
  38. ^ The Sexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 2008, arts 38 to 40
  39. ^ The Protection of Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1978, art 3; the Criminal Justice (Evidence, Etc.) (Northern Ireland) Order 1988, art 15
  40. ^ The Sexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 2008, arts 43 to 46
  41. ^ The Sexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 2008, arts 47 to 50
  42. ^ The Sexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 2008, arts 51 to 54
  43. ^ The Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, s 63
  44. ^ The Sexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 2008, arts 59 to 61
  45. ^ The Sexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 2008, arts 62 and 63
  46. ^ The Sexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 2008, art 64
  47. ^ The Sexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 2008, art 64A
  48. ^ The Sexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 2008, arts 65 and 67
  49. ^ The Sexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 2008, arts 68 and 69
  50. ^ The Sexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 2008, arts 70, 71 and 73 to 75
  51. ^ The Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009, ss 1 to 9 and 11
  52. ^ The Criminal Law (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 1995, s 8(3)
  53. ^ The Criminal Law (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 1995, ss 1 and 2
  54. ^ The Criminal Law (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 1995, s 7
  55. ^ The Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009, ss 18 to 26
  56. ^ The Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009, ss 28 to 37
  57. ^ The Protection of Children and Prevention of Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2005, s 1
  58. ^ The Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009, ss 42 and 46
  59. ^ The Protection of Children and Prevention of Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2005, ss 9 to 12
  60. ^ The Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982, ss 52 and 52A
  61. ^ The Criminal Law (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 1995, ss 9 and 10
  62. ^ The Criminal Law (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 1995, ss 11 to 13
  63. ^ The Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982, s 46; the Prostitution (Public Places) (Scotland) Act 2007, s 1
  64. ^ The Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982, s 51A
  65. ^ The Sexual Offences (Procedure and Evidence) (Scotland) Act 2002
  66. ^ The Historical Sexual Offences (Pardons and Disregards) (Scotland) Act 2018