Grooming has at its core two key elements – consent and intent:
- Consent: if I had known the truth about the relationship they formed with me, would I have consented to whatever I was manipulated into doing (had sex, loaned money, allowed this person to move me to a new country, paid for something)?
- Intent: did this person enter that relationship (be it business , personal or ‘other’) with harmful intent?
Joyce Short, seen in the video below, is the Founder of the Consent Awareness Network (CAN), a coalition that works with legislators to define “consent” in penal codes across the US and around the world. CAAGe is more than happy to support this.
She is a specialist on consent, romance scams and sexual assault (rape) by fraud, deception or impersonation. She has published three authoritative books:
- “Your Consent – The Key to Conquering Sexual Assault” (which clearly defines “consent” and provides the basis for new laws to hold sexual predators accountable
- “Carnal Abuse by Deceit, How a Predator’s Lies Became Rape.” her personal story
- “Combating Romance Scams – Why Lying to Get Laid Is a Crime!”
This talk (in the video) was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.)
According to CAN, 24% of US penal codes contain provisions that tell us specific instances when consent fails to take place (not all of them). Many use contradictory terms that can make sexual assault impossible to prosecute. 76% of US states and territories have neither provisions nor a definition for consent.
But thanks to GDPR legislation, consent now has a legal definition:
- freely given;
With ‘rape by deception’ rendered useless in the UK, and similar laws in the US patchy and inconsistent, suddenly there’s a ray of hope, and at CAAGe we will be examining the possibilities that this presents.
Watch this space!