Can I hit someone back for sexual assault?

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Can I hit someone back for sexual assault?

Unread postby dogdad91 » 16 November 2021, 02:34

I was at a gay rave this weekend, and on 2 occasions someone reached down the back of my pants while I was dancing. The 2nd time I saw who it was and threatened him with a closed fist but the old perv just hung around there with a shit-eating grin on his face, rightly betting that I wouldn't follow through. I didn't want to risk getting kicked out, but it felt really wrong that he basically got away with it.

Could I have hit him? My friends and I were all on drugs (even tho I was totally in control of myself) so security might assume I'm in the wrong. Would it make a difference if it was a backhand vs a fist? Would like to know for next time lol
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Re: Can I hit someone back for sexual assault?

Unread postby pozzie » 16 November 2021, 15:44

While you likely need the advice of someone licensed to practice law where you live, I'm not sure there is a concept of "justifiable assault" let alone "justifiable battery." Now how self defense plays into the mix depends on where you live. Could you pull out your revolver and point it at someone who is harassing you sexually? Maybe in some locations and probably not in others. There are probably concepts of "reasonably appropriate", "commensurate", "mitigating factors", and the like that play into it all, but I can't even say where I live, let alone wherever you are/were. A fist is much grayer (unless you're a trained martial artist or something). It's not a stretch though, for an absurd example to illustrate the point, that you can't (legally) shoot someone in the back for stealing a gumball.

Will be honest and say I've had similar experiences at gay bars and events - not often, but they have happened. For whatever reason, the guy felt entitled to stick his hand down my pants (literally, though hands have been placed elsewhere outside of clothing as well). I think another group of people has been complaining about this type of unwanted advance for years.

Now you know why that other group sues. After all, they mostly aren't strong enough to "fight back" even if it were allowed. If you were to punch him and he, or anyone else around, decided to make a fuss, at best you'd probably be escorted from the event. Or you might get to talk to the cops and who knows what that outcome might be. Can't say there's no possibility you'd be charged and surely you know what happens next. So the end result is pretty much a crap shoot.

Fist or backhand? Again, you need a lawyer to answer that. Either way though, I wouldn't be comfortable telling anyone to result to violence after being sexually assaulted. If it was in office, I'd tell you to clearly (preferably in front of witnesses) tell him to "never touch you again" and then document, document, document. In the case you describe, maybe smile, say something he can't possibly hear, do a little come hither so he leans closer, and then yell in his ear "never fucking touch me again, asshole". Or something to that effect.

I totally get the urge you describe and certainly on some moral/ethical level you'd be justified. I just can't tell you that the law would be on your side.
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Re: Can I hit someone back for sexual assault?

Unread postby dogdad91 » 30 November 2021, 01:34

"tell him to "never touch you again" and then document, document, document"... in a loud club where you can barely hear yourself talk? I want whatever you're smoking! lol
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Re: Can I hit someone back for sexual assault?

Unread postby pozzie » 30 November 2021, 19:35

clearly you're the one smoking something since you missed or ignored, "If it was in office, ..." Makes a big difference when you actually read the entire sentence.

lol
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Re: Can I hit someone back for sexual assault?

Unread postby Brenden » 4 December 2021, 20:00

Violence is never an appropriate response if you're not in immediate danger. If you were to knock him out and he hit his head on the edge of a table or a stair and broke his neck of cracked his skull, you would be guilty of, at the very least, manslaughter. And of course when you escalate a situation into a physical fight, you risk your own health and well-being — you could end up being the one with a broken neck or cracked skull!
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Re: Can I hit someone back for sexual assault?

Unread postby René » 4 December 2021, 22:49

If it were me, I suppose in the exceptionally unlikely case I found myself at such an event, I would be there with boyfriends/friends who could serve as witnesses, and I imagine we would call police or security and (depending on local laws, whether the other person seemed to have backup, likely strength differences, etc.) possibly try to hold the person using minimum force necessary until the proper authorities can have a word with them (what's sometimes called a "citizen's arrest").

If they seem to be part of a larger group of lawbreakers, probably get away from them before making any calls and not take any risks as things could get ugly, as has been said.

But yeah, you'd have to ask someone versed in law in your jurisdiction to get an authoritative answer.
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Re: Can I hit someone back for sexual assault?

Unread postby Marmaduke » Yesterday, 11:16

Brenden wrote:Violence is never an appropriate response if you're not in immediate danger. If you were to knock him out and he hit his head on the edge of a table or a stair and broke his neck of cracked his skull, you would be guilty of, at the very least, manslaughter. And of course when you escalate a situation into a physical fight, you risk your own health and well-being — you could end up being the one with a broken neck or cracked skull!

That. 100% that. Don’t start fights and you’ve got the best chance of not losing one, especially if you’ve never been in a physical confrontation before. It’s not the best time to find out you freeze up under that sort of stress and end up with a black eye.

Speak to the bar staff, they’ll speak to the doormen, creepy man gets kicked out. Save violence for repelling violence, and only if you can’t run. It may seem worth it in the moment, it’s never worth it in hindsight.
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