Most analysis of sado-masochistic practices is made in the context of the general crime of assault rather than as a sexual offence. This approach has the consequence that principles appropriate to reform of sexual offences, such as respect for sexual autonomy and decisions based on the free choice of the parties get lost sight of. We take the view that a better perspective is to locate these practices as a form of sexual conduct and to ask whether there are any appropriate limiting factors on the exercise of sexual autonomy where assault on other persons is involved. We stress that the situation we are considering is where there is genuine consent given by all the parties to the specific activities in question. Nor are we concerned with conduct which is intended to cause death. The main issue is whether, as the Draft [Scottish] Criminal Code [prepared by an external group of academic lawyers and not yet accepted or adopted by SLC] suggests, the consensual infliction of non-minor injuries done for a sexual purpose must always be deemed to be socially unacceptable. We seek to discover views on this topic. Accordingly, we set out the following proposal and question for consideration:
The Spanner Trust is currently considering its response and will make it available on our website in due course. In the meantime if you wish to read the discussion paper or fill in a response form they can be downloaded from the SLC website at www.scotlawcom.gov.uk/html/discussion_papers.html#dp131 or the Spanner Trust website at www.spannertrust.org
We will be encouraging as many individuals and organisations to respond as possible. (The SLC is willing to accept the views of people outside Scotland.) You can respond only to proposals 67 and 68 if you wish, there is no need to answer any of the other proposals.
Be aware that your response will be in the public domain under the Scottish Freedom of Information Act and the names of all respondents will be included in the final report. You can request that your response be kept confidential, but please make clear (a) whether you wish the whole response to be treated as confidential, or (b) only part of it, or (c) whether you are happy for the response to be published but for your name to be withheld.
The closing date for responses is 1st May 2006.
EVENTS COMING UP
Spanner Trustees will be at the following events in an official capacity in the next 4 weeks. Please come up and say hello if you see us:
If you would like to invite the Spanner Trust to speak at your event or gathering please email info (at) spannertrust.org
We are extremely grateful to the following organisations who made donations to the Spanner Trust in December 2005 and January 2006. Every penny donated to the Trust goes towards our efforts to change the UK law so that it is legal for people to engage in activities for sexual pleasure where injury occurs, (unless it is a permanent disabling injury or fatal), as long as all parties consent and are all of full legal capacity.
If you have money from a fundraiser that you would like to forward to the Trust in pounds, dollars or euros, or you would like to make a private donation, please go to www.spannertrust.org/donations.asp
WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO TO HELP?
Thank you again for all your support, it's much appreciated.
Best wishes, John Pendal
Spanner Trust Chairman
Click here for April '06 letter