Petition to Reverse the Ruling that Intoxication can be used as a Defence in Ontario

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On June 4th, 2020, the Ontario Court of Appeal threw out the law that bans the accused from using intoxication as a defence in cases of sexual assault and other violent crimes.

Throwing out this law implements another barrier for folks to overcome. The decision on whether or not to report, let alone press charges, is daunting when you feel as though the judicial system is systematically not in your favour. 

Sexual Violence is the only violent crime in Canada that is not declining, in fact, it is actually increasing. Specifically in Ontario, numbers of police-reported sexual assaults has continued to increase by 19% each year. 

These number don't show the whole picture, and don't include unreported sexual assaults. "For every 15 black women who are raped, only one reports her assault." Black Women continue to be overrepresented as the victims of sexual violence, yet they are least likely to access social and medical services due to inherent systemic barriers

Removing Section 33.1 of the Criminal Code will reduce the number of reported sexual assaults. Victims will not feel compelled to place charges if they know that the court is allowing the perpetrator to use self-intoxication as a defence.  They will believe that the chances of their perpetrator being found guilty it unlikely. The conviction rate of perpetrators of sexual assault is already an extremely low 12% and now with self-intoxication as a defence, this number is likely to go down. 

Stand with us, and sign this petition to reverse the decision allowing self-intoxication as a defence in Ontario. The petition will be sent to the Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario. 


Assaulted Women’s Helpline:

Kids Help Phone:

Talk4Healing, for Indigenous women:

Support Services for Male Survivors of Sexual Violence:

National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline 800.656.HOPE (4673) 

Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centers

Ontario Network of Victim Service Providers