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 » 5 December 2021, 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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Re: Can I hit someone back for sexual assault?

Unread postby PopTart » 10 December 2021, 07:05

While I appreciate the intent behind people's cautioning against violence, it carries a degree of logic.

If anyone finds themselves in a situation where, calmly walking away IS NOT an option and someone is attempting to sexually assault you. Violence is most definately a valid response to that situation, to deter to an attack or protect yourself.

Meek acceptance is not a deterrent. A knee to the groin or fist to the face, are legitimate responses to someone not respecting your body and person. Too many people have been the subject of rape, hoping someone else would step in or stand up for them.

Always better to be able to stand up for one self.
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Re: Can I hit someone back for sexual assault?

Unread postby Marmaduke » 10 December 2021, 07:33

PopTart wrote:Always better to be able to stand up for one self.

If only saying it made it so.
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Re: Can I hit someone back for sexual assault?

Unread postby PopTart » 10 December 2021, 08:07

Marmaduke wrote:
PopTart wrote:Always better to be able to stand up for one self.

If only saying it made it so.

:rolleyes:

The same could be said for hoping someone else would step in and act on your behalf. Sadly, there are many people with stories to the contrary.

Self defence courses are always available for anyone who is uncertain of their own ability to defend themselves in dangerous situations.

Or, you know, you could just let the assault take place and lament it's happening later... if only there had been a strapping doorman to protect me.

All people have a right to self defense.
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Re: Can I hit someone back for sexual assault?

Unread postby René » 10 December 2021, 08:57

PopTart wrote:While I appreciate the intent behind people's cautioning against violence, it carries a degree of logic.

If anyone finds themselves in a situation where, calmly walking away IS NOT an option and someone is attempting to sexually assault you. Violence is most definately a valid response to that situation, to deter to an attack or protect yourself.

Meek acceptance is not a deterrent. A knee to the groin or fist to the face, are legitimate responses to someone not respecting your body and person. Too many people have been the subject of rape, hoping someone else would step in or stand up for them.

It's certainly a nuanced issue.

Marmaduke wrote:
PopTart wrote:Always better to be able to stand up for one self.

If only saying it made it so.

I think there's something to be said for having the ability, even if using it isn't always the best idea.
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Re: Can I hit someone back for sexual assault?

Unread postby PopTart » 10 December 2021, 09:34

René wrote:It's certainly a nuanced issue.
Undoutedly so.

René wrote:
Marmaduke wrote:
PopTart wrote:Always better to be able to stand up for one self.

If only saying it made it so.

I think there's something to be said for having the ability, even if using it isn't always the best idea.
This, I haven't had any formal self defense training, but my childhood was rough :P I can stand up for myself. But I would encourage everyone to learn how to defend themselves personally. Doesn't mean you have to go around kung-fu chopping every mofo that looks at you funny :squint:

But it is great to have an assortment of tools in your bag to deal with situations life presents us and while we might like to think the world is a wonderful, handholding, choir singing place... it really isn't. :shake:
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Re: Can I hit someone back for sexual assault?

Unread postby idk368 » 12 December 2021, 20:55

It depends on the place. When I used to go to wild parties in Berlin, something similar happened but then I was like completely naked on a sling so that doesn’t count.

In terms of hitting back, that sounds extreme. You can make a scene in front of everyone, and hopefully someone from security will kick him out; again, in Berlin, that kind of behavior wasn’t tolerated and harassers were promptly kicked out, no need to hit anyone.
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