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SEXUAL VIOLENCE AND THE LAW

Laws around sexual violence are outlined in the New Zealand Crimes Act 1961.

The New Zealand law protects everyone against sexual violation, which includes rape and unlawful sexual connection, as well as other forms of sexual abuse.

Under New Zealand Law rape is defined as the following:

Person A rapes person B if person A has sexual connection with person B, effected by the penetration of person B's genitalia by person A's penis,—

  1. without person B's consent to the connection; and
  2. without believing on reasonable grounds that person B consents to the connection.

Under New Zealand law rape is gender specific as it involves a penis and a vagina, although it also includes people who have surgically altered their genitals.

Unlawful sexual connection:

Person A has unlawful sexual connection with person B if person A has sexual connection with person B—

  1. without person B's consent to the connection; and
  2. without believing on reasonable grounds that person B consents to the connection.

Unlawful sexual connection covers all sexual contact that occurs without consent and is non gender specific. That is, it allows for non-consensual sexual contact between male to female, male to male, female to male and female to female individuals. Unlawful sexual connection includes the penetration of one person by another person by genitals, fingers or objects. Unlawful sexual connection also includes oral sex given or received without consent.

For a full definition please follow this link Crimes Act 1961, Section 128

Consent

The New Zealand Crimes Act 1961 also outlines circumstances where allowing sexual activity does not amount to consent to sexual activity. These circumstances are as follows:

A person does not consent to sexual activity just because they do not protest or offer physical resistance to the activity.

A person does not consent to sexual activity if they allow the activity because of—

  1. (a)force applied to them or some other person; or
  2. (b)the threat (express or implied) of the application of force to them or some other person; or
  3. (c)the fear of the application of force to them or some other person.

If the activity occurs while a person is asleep or unconscious

If the activity occurs while a person is so affected by alcohol or some other drug that they cannot consent or refuse to consent to the activity.

A person does not consent to sexual activity if the activity occurs while they are affected by an intellectual, mental, or physical condition or impairment which means that they cannot consent or refuse to consent to the activity.

One person does not consent to sexual activity with another person if that person allows the sexual activity because they mistaken about who the other person is.

A person does not consent to an act of sexual activity if that person allows the act because he or she is mistaken about its nature and quality. For example, consenting to protected sex and receiving unprotected sex

Sex within marriage

New Zealand law states that one person may be convicted of the sexual violation of another person at a time when they were married to each other.

Sexual violation of children and young people

There are also specific laws around the sexual violation of children and young people. This includes laws against sexual conduct with a child under 12 and sexual conduct with a young person under 16. The maximum sentences for these crimes are 14 years and 10 years respectively.

Sentencing for Sexual violation

Everyone who commits sexual violation is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 20 years.

A person convicted of sexual violation must be sentenced to imprisonment unless the court thinks that the person should not be sentenced to imprisonment due to the particular circumstances of the person convicted and the particular circumstances of the offence.

For more information follow this link New Zealand Crimes Act 1961 Section Seven