Legal definitions

The information contained on this page is not intended as legal advice.

What is Rape and Sexual Violation?

Sexual Violation is legislated in the Crimes Act 1961, Section 128. This legislation protects everyone in New Zealand against Sexual Violation (which includes rape and unlawful sexual connection) as well as other forms of sexual abuse.

Rape is defined in the Crimes Act 1961 as:

“Person A rapes person B if person A has sexual connection with person B, effected by the penetration of person B’s genitalia by person A’s penis,-
(a) without person B’s consent to the connection; and
(b) without believing on reasonable grounds that person B consents to the connection.”

This means that rape is defined as sexual intercourse without consent, although the slightest penetration is enough. Due to a penis and genitalia needing to be involved – rape is primarily aimed at being between a male and female, but also includes those surgically altered.

Unlawful Sexual Connection is defined in the Crimes Act 1961 as:

“Person A has unlawful sexual connection with person B if person A has sexual connection with person B –
(a) without person B’s consent to the connection ;and
(b) without believing on reasonable grounds that person B consents to the connection.”

This means that unlawful sexual connection covers any sexual contact that happens without consent: i.e. Male to female, female to male, male to male, and female to female. Sexual connection includes anal and genital penetration of one person by any part of another or by an object held or manipulated. It also includes oral sex, which is the touching of the lips to the genitals (either giving or receiving).

For the full definition as written in the 1961 Crimes Act please follow this link: Crimes Act 1961, Section 128

Sentencing for Sexual Violation

Everyone who commits sexual violation is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 20 years. A person convicted of sexual violation must be sentenced to imprisonment, unless the court instructs otherwise due to the particular circumstances of that case.

For the full definition as written in the 1961 Crimes Act please follow this link: Crimes Act 1961, Section 128B

Age Limit for Committing Sexual Violation

There is also no presumption of law that a person is incapable of sexual connection because of his or her age.

For the full definition as written in the 1961 Crimes Act please follow this link: Crimes Act 1961, Section 127

Sexual Violation in Married Relationships

A person may be convicted of sexual violation of another person at a time when they are married to each other.

Click here to find out about reporting sexual violation to the Police

Click here to find out about going to court

If you would like more information about your legal rights and responsibilities contact us or your nearest sexual assault agency for an appropriate referral.

 

Related pages:

What does the law say about consent?

Sexual abuse and other crimes