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Victim blaming is on its way out: UK sets to ban the ‘rough sex defense’

Hopefully, victim blaming is finally on its way out.

Grace Millane was found dead on December 2, 2018, after a Tinder date had gone wrong. The cause of death? Manual strangulation during sex in the man’s hotel bedroom in Auckland. Her body was found in a suitcase on Waitākere Ranges a week later. 

The man claimed her death was an accident, an unfortunate event that happened during “rough sex.” However, the bruises and injuries on her body say something different. 

Millane’s parents were forced to hear, in explicit detail, about their daughter’s private life in court. They were also forced to hear the night of her murder being analyzed and debated upon in court. 

Millane was not the first girl to, unfortunately, have their murder walk free under the rough sex defense. 

However, on June 30, this all changed. 

On June 30, the UK had passed a new clause in the Domestic Abuse Bill outlawing the rough sex defense. This means that men will no longer get away with murder under the guise that sex ‘went wrong.’

This amendment will soon turn into the law later this year. For now, it rules out “consent for sexual gratification” as a defense in England and New Wales.

This change in the amendment will stop murderers from being charged with manslaughter as opposed to murder. Many people have shown their support for the bill being passed.

The campaign group ‘We Can’t Consent To This’ has also shown their support.“This will come as a huge relief to women,” the group said in a statement.

“This new law… when enforced… will go some way to making sure those women get the outcome they deserve if they report it to the police…”

The rough sex defense has seen a 90 percent increase over the last decade and over half of them have been deemed as successful.

Labour MP Jess Phillips said: “The law should be clear to you all – you cannot consent to serious injury or death.”

While the ban does not currently apply to Scotland and Northern Island, it is still one big step forward. The campaign group, We Can’t Consent To This is working hard to “influence policy to improve outcomes for women. There is still much work to do.”

One step forward is still better than none at all.