"Superbly written and riveting, this legal history of sexual assaults opens a window, long closed, into the myths and stereotypes which, for so long, have inhabited our laws while also revealing the incredible pain and injustices suffered by victims. A great book!"

— Honourable Madam Justice Claire L’Heureux-Dubé, Supreme Court of Canada (retired)


"A brilliant anatomy of sexual assault—both law and legal history. There is no book quite like this: the legal analysis leaps from each person’s individual story and trial transcript with awesome dexterity. Constance Backhouse is a spectacular writer. This is the way to learn law!"

— Clayton C. Ruby


Awarded David W. Mundell Medal, 2011 for “distinguished contribution to law and literature.”

“It is intended to be a kind of Pulitzer Prize for legal writing” – Speech to Canadian Bar Association when medal was first awarded by Attorney General Ian Scott, 1986

"This engaging and powerful book demonstrates the ubiquitous nature of sexual assault in 20th century Canada and, as the author puts it, “the appalling failures” of the Canadian justice system. Constance Backhouse is a pioneer in the field of feminist legal history and continues to make a substantial and provocative contribution with this highly readable volume on sexual assault crimes in 20th century Canada . . . . While the book provides many reasons to be depressed about law’s inability to eradicate sexual assault, Backhouse’s words and analysis are inspiring and refreshing."

— Tamara Myers, Department of History, University of British Columbia


Awarded the Canadian Law & Society Association Book Prize, 2009


Short listed for the Harold Adams Innis Prize, by the Aid to Scholarly Publications Program (ASPP), presented each year to the best English-language ASPP-supported book in the social sciences, 2009