‘Forced-to-penetrate’ cases, where a man is forced-to-penetrate, with his penis and without his consent, a woman’s vagina, anus or mouth, have previously received little consideration within academic literature. Under the current law in England and Wales such cases cannot be prosecuted as rape, instead being prosecutable under the offences of ‘sexual assault’ or ‘causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent’. This paper will present quantitative and qualitative findings from the first empirical study in the UK on forced-to-penetrate cases. In particular, it will focus upon the strategies used by women in compelling penetration, the emotional harms experienced by men, and men’s perceptions of legal and criminal justice responses to such cases. In presenting these findings, the paper will consider if there is a need for law reform within the sexual offences framework, and if so, what such reform could look like, as well as its potential consequences.
Dr Siobhan Weare is a Lecturer in Law at Lancaster University Law School. Her research interests are focused in the area of criminal law and criminal justice. Her current research explores ‘forced-to-penetrate’ cases, considering the social, legal, and criminal justice responses to men who experience, and women who perpetrate, this form of sexual violence.