Law Reform and Policy
by Peter Fritz Walter
Since violence is violence regardless of the form it takes, a truly democratic society will not rule into love and sexuality as basic forms of human expression and togetherness, but only where violence is superimposed upon sex or linked to sex in a way that sex becomes a weapon to overpower, to subdue or to humiliate the sexual partner. Thus, the target behavior for criminal laws will be violence, and not sex.
From the moment we liberalize sexuality from its moralistic stigma that is a residue of inquisitory church laws and has, as such, no justification in a modern legal system, we have no choice but admitting that sexuality cannot reasonably be a subject for governmental regulation and interference.
Regarding laws of consent, we must therefore conclude that they have no justification in a democratic society because their rationale is not protection but paternalistic control and, in extreme cases, enslavement. And that they are completely ineffective to prevent sexual violence is a daily fact for everyone who reads the daily news.
Thus a new and democratic legal bill must target violence and not sex, and incriminate both physical and sexual violence, not more and not less.
Since in both physical and sexual assault, violence is evidently the determining factor of the offense, it is more effective to treat both kinds of offenses in one and the same legal bill and not, as it is now, in a range of diverse laws that are apart from each other and that have no congruent scheme or even contradict each other.