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UK: Turns out that not only are women exempt from rape charges but the maximum sentencing for sexual assault is much lower

May 13, 2022
143 upvotes

I'm sure most of us are aware of the lack of gender neutral rape laws in the UK. Just in case, women can only be prosecuted for sexual assault as they lack the appropriate genitalia required for rape by law:

(1) A person (A) commits an offence if— (a) he intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of another person (B) with his penis, (b) B does not consent to the penetration, and (c) A does not reasonably believe that B consents.

Or for statutory rape:

(1) A person commits an offence if— (a) he intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of another person with his penis, and (b) the other person is under 16.

The usual rebuttal by feminists is that the sentencing is equal and it's just a case of semantics so it is not a big issue. However, this is not true. Looking at the sentencing guidelines, the sentencing for sexual assault has a minimum of community order (curfew, community service, etc.) and a maximum of 10 years.

https://www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk/offences/magistrates-court/item/sexual-assault/

Whereas the range for rape is 4 years to life.

https://www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk/offences/crown-court/item/rape/

Apologies if this is common knowledge, I assumed they were honest about sentencing being the same even though I think that semantics is a problem, especially when it comes to statistics.

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Post Information
Title UK: Turns out that not only are women exempt from rape charges but the maximum sentencing for sexual assault is much lower
Author ExMuzzy
Upvotes 143
Comments 19
Date May 13, 2022 8:58 PM UTC (6 months ago)
Subreddit /r/LeftWingMaleAdvocates
Archive Link https://theredarchive.com/r/LeftWingMaleAdvocates/uk-turns-out-that-not-only-are-women-exempt-from.1114342
https://theredarchive.com/post/1114342
Original Link https://old.reddit.com/r/LeftWingMaleAdvocates/comments/up1a8n/uk_turns_out_that_not_only_are_women_exempt_from/
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[–]problem_redditorright-wing guest 35 points36 points  (6 children) | Copy Link

Okay, let's be accurate about this.

The usual rebuttal by feminists is that the sentencing is equal and it's just a case of semantics so it is not a big issue.

They are arguing this because the charge of "Causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent" would be the equivalent punishment for women who rape men, not "sexual assault". Causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent, if penetration was involved, does carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment (and that does include cases of forced-to penetrate, as you can see in the definition).

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2003/42/section/4/2009-11-12

"Causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent"

"(1) A person (A) commits an offence if—"

"(a) he intentionally causes another person (B) to engage in an activity,"

"(b) the activity is sexual,"

"(c) B does not consent to engaging in the activity, and"

"(d) A does not reasonably believe that B consents."

"(2) Whether a belief is reasonable is to be determined having regard to all the circumstances, including any steps A has taken to ascertain whether B consents."

"(3) Sections 75 and 76 apply to an offence under this section."

"(4) A person guilty of an offence under this section, if the activity caused involved—"

"(a) penetration of B’s anus or vagina,"

"(b) penetration of B’s mouth with a person’s penis,"

"(c) penetration of a person’s anus or vagina with a part of B’s body or by B with anything else, or"

"(d) penetration of a person’s mouth with B’s penis,"

"is liable, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for life. "

"(5) Unless subsection (4) applies, a person guilty of an offence under this section is liable—"

"(a) on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or both;"

"(b) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years."

You can see that forced-to-penetrate falls under "penetration of a person’s anus or vagina with a part of B’s body or by B with anything else", and since there is penetration, that offence carries a maximum term of life imprisonment just like rape does.

Now, why are feminists lying when they say the sentencing is the same? Because almost everything else about how the offences are punished is different, and by claiming "the maximum sentences are the same" they are basically trying to obfuscate this fundamental fact: that "causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent" is NOT interchangeable with "rape". They can lie about it so brazenly because few people have actually cared to take a deep dive into the details of how the offences are prosecuted.

They hate acknowledging men's issues, and so have thrown out "Well the maximum is the same so stop complaining" to cloud the discussion despite it absolutely falling apart if you even bother to think about it for a second and actually ask about things like "What about the minimum?" or "Do the starting points for sentencing differ?"

You can take a look at the sentencing guidelines for "causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent" here. The sentencing depends on whether the offence is a Category 1, Category 2, and Category 3 offence, and whether the offence is a Culpability A or Culpability B offence. There are also separate sentencing tables depending on whether the act involved penetration or not. I'm only going to place in my comment the sentencing table regarding offences that involve penetration.

https://www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk/offences/crown-court/item/causing-a-person-to-engage-in-sexual-activity-without-consent/

"Where offence involved penetration"

A B
Category 1 Starting point 15 years’ custody, Category range 13 – 19 years’ custody Starting point 12 years’ custody, Category range 10 – 15 years’ custody
Category 2 Starting point 8 years’ custody, Category range 5 – 13 years’ custody Starting point 6 years’ custody, Category range 4 – 9 years’ custody
Category 3 Starting point 4 years’ custody, Category range 2 – 6 years’ custody Starting point 2 years’ custody, Category range High level community order – 4 years’ custody

Now let's compare this with rape.

https://www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk/offences/crown-court/item/rape/

A B
Category 1 Starting point 15 years’ custody, Category range 13 – 19 years’ custody Starting point 12 years’ custody, Category range 10 – 15 years’ custody
Category 2 Starting point 10 years’ custody, Category range 9 – 13 years’ custody Starting point 8 years’ custody, Category range 7 – 9 years’ custody
Category 3 Starting point 7 years’ custody, Category range 6 – 9 years’ custody Starting point 5 years’ custody, Category range 4 – 7 years’ custody

So you can see that the sentencing guidelines between the two offences differ quite markedly, especially at lower levels of severity. Category 1 offences for both offences have the same starting points and category ranges, but the guidelines state that to fall under this category the act has to involve harm of an "extreme" nature and so most cases would likely not fall into that.

If the offence is a "Category 2" or "Category 3" offence, the starting point for sentencing is quite different (for instance, when it comes to a category 2, culpability A offence, it's 8 years for "Causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent" vs 10 years for rape). More than this, a mere community order, no jail time required, is a potential punishment explicitly set out in the guidelines for "Causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent", whereas there is no such lenient punishment set out when it comes to rape.

Under the guidelines for "Causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent": "Where there is a sufficient prospect of rehabilitation, a community order with a sex offender treatment programme requirement under part 3 of Schedule 9 of the Sentencing Code can be a proper alternative to a short or moderate length custodial sentence." You can see in the sentencing guidelines for "causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent" that even if the offence involved penetration, a mere community order is still a possible sentence. The minimums for the two offences are very different.

Given these important differences, it's not going to be easy to argue that prosecuting female offenders under "Causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent" is substitutable for prosecuting them as rapists, and that the difference is only a semantic one. It's not, and feminists routinely engage in sophistry to avoid this fact.

[–]ExMuzzy[S] 8 points9 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Bloody hell, you've researched this a heck of lot more than I've been able to.

Thanks for writing all this out.

[–]ilikepizza2626 5 points6 points  (3 children) | Copy Link

I also wonder if this applies to underage/child sex crimes. Because they define rape as only applying to penetration by the offender, while the "equivalent" application to females still limits it to "causing" a person to engage without consent.

I don't know if they consider a female having sex with a boy as inherently "causing" him to engage in sex, or if it only applies to forcible rape.

[–]ExMuzzy[S] 1 point2 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

Briefly looked over it so I could be wrong, it doesn’t seem to fall under rape either.

For males it would fall under section 5, sentencing and offence:

Rape of a child under 13

(1)A person commits an offence if—

(a)he intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of another person with his penis, and

(b)the other person is under 13.

(2)A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for life.

For female offenders it seems to fall under section 9, sentencing and offence:

Sexual activity with a child

(1)A person aged 18 or over (A) commits an offence if—

(a)he intentionally touches another person (B),

(b)the touching is sexual, and

(c)either—

(i)B is under 16 and A does not reasonably believe that B is 16 or over, or

(ii)B is under 13.

(2)A person guilty of an offence under this section, if the touching involved—

(a)penetration of B’s anus or vagina with a part of A’s body or anything else,

(b)penetration of B’s mouth with A’s penis,

(c)penetration of A’s anus or vagina with a part of B’s body, or

(d)penetration of A’s mouth with B’s penis,

is liable, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years. (3)Unless subsection (2) applies, a person guilty of an offence under this section is liable—

(a)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or both;

(b)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years.”

Similarly it also suggests rehabilitation:

Where there is a sufficient prospect of rehabilitation, a community order with a sex offender treatment programme requirement under section 202 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 can be a proper alternative to a short or moderate length custodial sentence.

[–]problem_redditorright-wing guest 2 points3 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

The most severe offence which I know of that female perpetrators of forced-to-penetrate could be given for taking advantage of a child is Section 8 - "Causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity".

"(1) A person commits an offence if—"

"(a) he intentionally causes or incites another person (B) to engage in an activity,"

"(b) the activity is sexual, and"

"(c) B is under 13."

"(2) A person guilty of an offence under this section, if the activity caused or incited involved—"

"(a) penetration of B’s anus or vagina,"

"(b) penetration of B’s mouth with a person’s penis,"

"(c) penetration of a person’s anus or vagina with a part of B’s body or by B with anything else, or"

"(d) penetration of a person’s mouth with B’s penis,"

"is liable, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for life. "

"(3) Unless subsection (2) applies, a person guilty of an offence under this section is liable—"

"(a) on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or both;"

"(b) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years."

Again, you can see that the maximum is the same as "Rape of a child under 13" (they both carry a potential sentence of life imprisonment), but the starting points under the sentencing guidelines and the minimum punishment according to the offence range are not the same.

Sentencing for "Causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity":

https://www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk/offences/crown-court/item/causing-or-inciting-a-child-under-13-to-engage-in-sexual-activity/

A B
Category 1 Starting point 13 years’ custody, Category range 11 – 17 years’ custody Starting point 11 years’ custody, Category range 10 – 15 years’ custody
Category 2 Starting point 8 years’ custody, Category range 5 – 10 years’ custody Starting point 6 years’ custody, Category range 3 – 9 years’ custody
Category 3 Starting point 5 years’ custody, Category range 3 – 8 years’ custody Starting point 2 years’ custody, Category range 1 – 4 years’ custody

Sentencing for "Rape of a child under 13":

https://www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk/offences/crown-court/item/rape-of-a-child-under-13/

A B
Category 1 Starting point 16 years’ custody, Category range 13 – 19 years’ custody Starting point 13 years’ custody, Category range 11 – 17 years’ custody
Category 2 Starting point 13 years’ custody, Category range 11 – 17 years’ custody Starting point 10 years’ custody, Category range 8 – 13 years’ custody
Category 3 Starting point 10 years’ custody, Category range 8 – 13 years’ custody Starting point 8 years’ custody, Category range 6 – 11 years’ custody

Analysing this is a bit more confusing, since the sentencing guidelines for "Causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity" do not contain any separate sentencing tables for acts that involve penetration or acts that don't, instead the distinction is by category. Those that involve penetration fall into a higher category.

When it comes to "Causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity", acts that involve "Penetration of vagina or anus (using body or object) by, or of, the victim" would likely typically be classified as Category 2 under that offence (though it could also potentially move down to Category 3, or up to Category 1, depending on the existence or severity of certain factors).

Here the starting points can still be argued to be drastically different. You can see that the Category 2 starting point for "Causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity" (8 years' custody for Culpability A, and 6 years' custody for Culpability B) is lower than the starting point for even Category 3 "rape" offences (10 years' custody for Culpability A, and 8 years' custody for Culpability B). The category ranges are different too - for example, the minimums in the category range for Category 2 acts of "Causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity" are lower than even the minimums for Category 3 acts of rape of a child under 13.

It still seems to me that "Causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity" generally still has less severe sentencing guidelines than "Rape of a child under 13". Because female-perpetrated statutory rape is lumped in with and prosecuted under an offence with more lenient sentencing guidelines, it's likely that a female offender wouldn't be punished the same way as a male offender would. Which is why gender-neutrality in the rape statutes is important.

EDIT: made some amendments to the numbers

[–]ExMuzzy[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Pretty fucked up that that causing or inciting statutory rape has a harsher punishment than being guilty of the actual act.

[–]MooreanShiftingUrArg 4 points5 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

This is why I love this subreddit so much. Deceit is so common in feminist discourse and people like you are doing God's work in exposing it.

[–]matrixislife 13 points14 points  (8 children) | Copy Link

This has come up a few times, in 2016 when the government said this and also in 2020 when they said this.
I think there was another petition that made it to 100k signatures, but I can't find that reply off-hand.
You'll notice that elements of the earlier response were cribbed and pasted into the later one, obviously the concerns of the public don't even merit individual thinking.
On the issue of sentencing, the claim in the responses is that the maximum sentence is the same for sexual assault against men as is rape against women or men. This doesn't take into account range and as you say, the recommendations surrounding the sentences. Interestingly, looking at the actual section that the maximum penalty is life in prison, but that all the listed crimes involve penetration. Thus sexual assault that doesn't involve penetration presumably does not have the same guidelines and recommendations.

The point is obvious, that there is 2-tier sentencing depending if you are male or female, and that those in power know this and are willing to cloud the issue when talking about it. This does not bode well for equality under the law.

[–]ExMuzzy[S] 2 points3 points  (7 children) | Copy Link

It's sad that there have been so many petitions but results are always the same and completely ignores the range.

[–]matrixislife 1 point2 points  (6 children) | Copy Link

Those facts lead to another obvious conclusion. I can't say too many people will be happy about it though.

[–]SchalaZeal01left-wing male advocate 0 points1 point  (5 children) | Copy Link

Those facts lead to another obvious conclusion.

That its not a democracy?

[–]matrixislife 2 points3 points  (3 children) | Copy Link

I'm not sure about that one, I know we're closer than the US in that regards, at least we don't have an Electoral College, but there are still plenty of issues.

It's interesting that feminists claim that we are living in a patriarchy, where society is set up to favour men over women. Yet there are a myriad of examples like the laws above that do the exact opposite. Could it be that they are mistaken, or that we are seeing yet another example of DARVO.

[–]SchalaZeal01left-wing male advocate 2 points3 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

It's an oligarchy disguised as a democracy. But since the rich finance campaigns and decide who's going to win the party race, they puppet-show the entire thing, leaving an opinion of the people that they actually matter, when they ostensibly don't. Oligarchs can be benevolent (UBI for everyone) or assholes (Elysium for us, die you plebs), but its not the people who will choose.

[–]MooreanShiftingUrArg 0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy Link

I think this is a bit too reductionist. The people of the UK do have substantial say, but not as much as ideal. Case in point is Brexit, where all neoliberals were against it but it still happpened.

[–]SchalaZeal01left-wing male advocate 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

The rich don't have to micromanage every decision, only those that touch on them economically. Like not trying to do anything about tax havens, or tax evasion, or low corporate taxes, or loopholes to avoid paying tax, or doing anything substantial against people who 'invest' in housing and raise prices by speculating (not specially since the war, but since the 1990s, with interest rates low, housing has been a better placement than banks).

[–]NimishApteleft-wing male advocate 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

It's leaders are not as democratically accountable. But it can be a good thing. For example, the death penalty

[–]thereslcjg2000left-wing male advocate 34 points35 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

I've seen TERFs and similar types insist it's just a matter of semantics and that actually female sex offenders don't face any less punishment than male ones. Not surprised to learn that's false.

[–]House_of_Raven 20 points21 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

The fact they use the word “he” in itself shows that they think only men are capable of rape. That’s terrible

[–]orion-7 4 points5 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

That's just how English laws are written Everyone is a he

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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