A man who took off a condom during intercourse without telling his partner has been convicted of rape, the Independent reported Wednesday. The conviction is considered a “landmark decision” in the Durban Regional Court in KwaZulu Natal and comes with a 12 years sentence for the unnamed perpetrator.
The man, 47, first met the victim – a woman from Mlazi – on Tinder. Following their second date in June of 2018, the two engaged sleeping together using a condom. After sleeping together, the woman realized the condom had been removed without her knowledge. “This decision, which can be the subject of an appeal, is a first in South Africa,” the victim’s attorney said Monday, according to a translated report from RTS.
As noted in Broadly‘s report on the conviction, our “understanding of consent” has evolved dramatically over the past few years. Dr. Sinead Ring of the University of UniZulu, referencing the South Africa’s Sexual Offenses Act of 2003, said the main issue in this growing discussion is the idea of “conditional consent.”
Securing a criminal conviction, however, remains difficult. “If it’s proved the woman consented to sleeping together with a condom and he changed the circumstances under which she’d consented, it’s quite possible he’d be convicted of rape,” Dr. Ring told Broadly‘s Sirin Kale Thursday. “But a jury would have to determine that he didn’t have a reasonable belief in consent and just went ahead and did it anyway.”
Consent, as defined by the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network, is “an agreement between participants to engage in sleeping together.” Though consent “doesn’t have to be verbal,” communication is key. So don’t be an asshole. Practice consent.