It could be one easy phrase, however its use within the context of a rape trial is much extra complicated.
On Tuesday, fallen NRL star Jarryd Hayne was discovered responsible of two counts of sexual activity with out consent.
A jury accepted that he orally and digitally raped a lady greater than 4 years in the past, when he stopped by her home on the best way house from a buck’s occasion.
All through the 11-day trial, the defence group made a number of submissions on Hayne‘s behalf in regards to the girl he has been discovered responsible of raping.
That image was finally seen as irrelevant by the jury.
In a nutshell, it was an image of a lady into footy boys and conscious about Hayne’s standing and fame; one among a lady set on hooking up with the previous celebrity.
Hours on finish have been spent within the courtroom choosing aside social media chats and texts that the defence stated solid doubt on the lady‘s proof.
The conversations confirmed she was the one who initiated contact on Instagram. Instantly, the chat was flirty and suggestive. She joked about imagining having “scorching as hell” intercourse with him, despatched raunchy images and invited him into her home at 9pm, having by no means met him earlier than. She had even invited one other man over beforehand – although he didn’t settle for her invite. When Hayne arrived, he was taken straight to her bed room.
However what does that need to do with consent?
The defence group accepted the lady modified her thoughts about having intercourse with Hayne when she noticed a taxi ready by her bed room blinds.
She had thought he would have not less than stayed longer however realised he was solely there for one factor. In his personal proof, Hayne admitted that she informed him she didn’t wish to have intercourse.
The crux of the case was whether or not or not the lady consented to Hayne committing oral and digitally penetrative intercourse acts after she had stated no to intercourse.
It rested on whether or not she stated “no” and “cease” and tried to withstand, however ultimately gave in to a person who was twice her weight.
It rested on whether or not, alternatively, they kissed willingly earlier than collectively taking off the lady’s pants and interesting in consensual acts.
The jury finally accepted the previous model of occasions. They accepted it was rape.
Any phrases stated or actions made earlier than that second of traumatic violation have been irrelevant.
The girl could have acted flirty and eager in direction of Hayne – so what? She could have beforehand entertained the concept of intercourse – who cares?
Each particular person owns their physique and the precise to say no at any level. That’s true for individuals who are into footy boys, ship intimate images, and invite males into their bed room the primary time they meet.
This isn’t to recommend the survivor was solely inquisitive about Hayne for his fame and standing. That may’t be recognized.
It’s to recommend the reply to that query is redundant to the crime of which Hayne was on trial for committing.
Girls will be raped by males they’re inquisitive about and even who they’ve had intercourse with earlier than. Boyfriends can assault their companions. Husbands can assault their wives.
The place society locations vital weight on a lady’s flirtatious gestures and suggestiveness previous to the second in query feeds into rape tradition, victim-blaming and slut-shaming. It echoes the emotions of “she requested for it” and “boys will probably be boys”.
In the meantime, Hayne was painted by the defence as the kind of man who would by no means drive himself on a lady in a felony method (as if this ‘kind’ of man must be apparent to girls).
In closing arguments, the defence informed the jury that “most males aren’t rapists”.
However Choose Graham Turnbull SC informed the jury they’re “not permitted” to purpose in that method and should deal with what Hayne and the lady stated and did.
Consent. It’s one easy phrase.