Suing for Silence: Sexual Violence and Defamation Law (Law and Society) (Paperback)

Suing for Silence: Sexual Violence and Defamation Law (Law and Society) By Mandi Gray Cover Image
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How defamation lawsuits against survivors of sexual violence are used as a tool to dissuade victims from coming forward.

Suing for Silence is a groundbreaking examination of how men accused of sexual violence use defamation lawsuits as a weapon to silence those who attempt to hold them accountable. As Mandi Gray demonstrates, Canadian defamation law helps perpetuate the myth that false allegations of sexual violence are common. Gray draws on media reports, courtroom observations, and interviews with silence breakers, activists, and lawyers to examine the societal and individual implications of so-called liar lawsuits. She argues that the purpose of these suits is not to seek justice, but rather to intimidate, silence, and drain the resources of those who speak out against sexual violence and even report their own assaults—and to discourage others from doing the same. This meticulous work reveals the gendered underpinnings of Canadian defamation law, which has long protected men’s reputations at the expense of women’s sexual autonomy.

About the Author

Mandi Gray is assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at Trent University, lecturing in criminology, and an anti-violence activist. She is regularly featured in Canadian media on issues of sexual violence, including in the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, and Toronto Life, and on the CBC.

Praise For…

"Mandi Gray has produced an intriguing and original book based on strong feminist research. Suing for Silence provides a complex analysis of defamation lawsuits as backlash against accusations of sexual violence and the harms of these strategic lawsuits for the individuals involved, for survivors who have yet to come forward, and for society at large."
— Charlene Y. Senn, Canada Research Chair in Sexual Violence, University of Windsor
Product Details
ISBN: 9780774869171
ISBN-10: 0774869178
Publisher: University of British Columbia Press
Publication Date: April 5th, 2024
Pages: 176
Language: English
Series: Law and Society