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Proof of physical injury

A person does not give 'consent' to sexual intercourse if due to threats or terror they submit. Where sexual intercourse has occurred and the victim's will has been overborne by a threat, it is not necessary for the Crown to prove physical injuries to the victim. This is understandable, as in this situation there may well be no injury. An example would be a woman seeming to co-operate in circumstances where her child has been threatened with violence.

The lack of physical injury to a victim may be very relevant to the defence in some circumstances and may be the subject of substantial comment by defence lawyers when addressing the jury. The importance that is placed on physical injury will depend upon the circumstances. For example, if given the statement the victim has made, injuries would be expected, any absence of injury would be very important. However, if injuries could not be expected the absence of injury would not be important.

Proof of physical injury  :  Last Revised: Tue Jan 13th 2015
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