In examining the spectrum of reported cases of nonhuman animal sexual assault (ASA) in the courts and media in England and Wales, this paper identifies the nature of known cases of ASA and how these offences intersect with other offending. Studies on sexualised violence usually refer to interpersonal sexual acts involving persons who are non-consenting, underage or involving specifically prohibited activities. Nonhuman animals are seldom considered victims and largely only appear in existing literature when referring to human sexual preference (e.g. zoophilia) or criminality (e.g. bestiality). This paper reveals that few ASA offenders are sentenced in the UK, despite many more documented accounts of ASA and the known existence of large online bestiality and zoophilia communities in the UK and elsewhere. This failure to protect and seek justice for nonhuman ASA animal victims indicates another form of prejudice and marginalisation of species, continually documented in green criminology, through speciesist and anthropocentric attitudes and responses. Additionally, in failing to respond to ASA, a crucial opportunity is lost to enhance our understanding and response to all sexualised violence, as this paper highlights the co-victimisation and intersectionality between human and non-human sexualised violence and offending.
|22nd Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology
|20/09/22 → 24/09/22