Some of us have been in situations where we were inappropriately touched or grabbed by someone and felt violated. It may have happened while at work or while out at a party with friends or even done by someone we thought could be trusted. So what exactly is indecent assault and what are the consequences one can face if guilty in T&T?
But first, what is assault?
Assault means to make a physical attack on another.
What is indecent assault?
Indecent assault is an assault that is accompanied by words or circumstances indicating an indecent (vulgar) intention. It is an offensive sexual act or series of acts (that does not include rape) committed against another person without his/her consent.
What is considered indecent assault?
Touching someone’s private areas without their consent is considered indecent. Other types of indecent contact include:
A person who indecently assaults another in T&T is guilty of an offence and can face imprisonment for 5 years for a first offence and to imprisonment for 10 years for a subsequent offence (according to section 15(1) of the Sexual Offences Act).
Persons under 16 cannot give consent
It should be noted that a person under the age of sixteen cannot give consent which would prevent an act from being an assault. This means once a person is under the age of sixteen any indecent act committed against that person would be against the law whether or not he/she gave consent (according to section 15(2) of the Sexual Offences Act).
If you or anyone you know has been the victim of indecent assault, these local resources may be able to offer help:
Trinidad and Tobago Police Service
Emergency Contact Numbers
Important Notice: This post does not constitute or provide legal advice. Always consult a suitably qualified lawyer on any legal problem or issue.