AuthorConstance Backhouse
E ChapterF
Sastonishingly widespread throughout Canadian
history. It emerges out of disparities in power between men and women,
adults and children, and those w ith and without the privileges of class, race,
ethnicityheterosexualityphysicalmental ability and other variables that
create hierarchies among individuals. To pursue the study of when and how
people with power perpetrate sexual assault upon the less powerful is to
begin to unmask ine qualities that manifest themselves through sexua l coer
cionandviolenceToreviewhowour legalsystemcharacterizesthew rong
of sexual assault puts the phenomena into sharper foc us. It brings us face to
face with the raw power of law, along with the enormous potential and ap
palling failures at the root of t he Canadian justice system.
This book takes nine cas es ofse xual assault and proles in detail the
people, the places, and the legal proceedings involved, using a method that
aLondon Ontario teamster charged with rapinga middleaged boarding
housekeeperMar y Ann Burton in It movesto Québec Cit y in 
youngworkingclass menoutfor aspree in adashi ngmotorvehicle Itex
plor esa lle gat ion sof dat erap ei nt heRo ar in gTwent ies i nHa li fax in be
retells the story of Velma Demerson, who told no one that she was raped in
JohnNew Brun swick Itexplai ns howt he same womanmore th an sixty

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