Statement on Al-Rawi verdict: Clearly a drunk person cannot consent

Statements made by provincial court Judge Gregory Lenehan in his March 1 acquittal of Halifax taxi driver Bassam Al-Rawi have drawn attention to the misconceptions that still exist around sexual violence.

Sexual Health Nova Scotia is committed to working to end sexual violence in this province. This work rests on the firm belief that consent must be clearly given, it must be affirmative, and it must be ongoing.

From our perspective, clearly a drunk person cannot consent to sexual activity.

Regardless of the verdict, cases like these reinforce the need for campaigns against sexual violence and in support of its victims.

We believe and support survivors of sexual violence.

If you or someone you know has experienced sexual violence, support is available at your local sexual health centre. Visit our member-centre page to find a sexual health centre near you. Residents of HRM can also contact Avalon Sexual Assault Centre at

Women may also consider contacting a women’s centre for support. Visit to find a women's centre near you. 

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