'Rough sex' defence set to be banned in the UK
"We are extremely concerned by normalised violence against women in sex."
The "rough sex" defence is set to be banned in the UK under new domestic abuse legislation.
The defence, which can often allow for lesser sentencing under the justification that "rough sex went wrong," has been used in multiple cases across the UK and elsewhere, often excusing sexual violence and sometimes death.
Alex Chalk told fellow members of UK parliament that it was "unconscionable" that the defence should be used to win lesser sentences and that the new Domestic Abuse Bill would address the issue.
"It is unconscionable for defendants to suggest that the death of a woman is justified, excusable or legally defensible because that woman had engaged in violent and harmful sexual activity which resulted in her death, simply because she consented," he said.
Women's rights campaign group We Can't Consent To This have welcomed the news. They said that the rough sex defence has been used against women "for nearly 50 years" and are hopeful that the changing law will protect more victims of sexual violence.
"We’ve found 67 recent cases of people in the UK who were killed during so-called ‘sex games gone wrong,'" they said in their recent MP briefing. "60 of those killed were female.
"We have found many more women injured in non-fatal assaults which those accused say they consented to. Everyone who has used this claim in a defence in a UK homicide or non-fatal assault is male.
"Of the women killed, half were in relationships with the men who killed them. Most of those men had a history of abuse. And many of these defendants had other convictions for serious violence – rape, murder, kidnap – of women."
The new law is set to be introduced to England and Wales later this year.
You can find out more about We Can't Consent To This here.