Legal Rights of Intimates with Jill Hasday

Intimacy and deception are often entangled. No person is immune from deception in dating, sex, marriage, and family life. Intimates can lie or otherwise intentionally mislead each other about anything and everything. Suppose you discover that an intimate has deceived you and inflicted severe—even life-altering—injuries, including:

•Financial losses;

•Illnesses and infections;

•Physical endangerment and abuse;

•Violations of bodily integrity and sexual autonomy;

•Unexpected vulnerability to criminal prosecution;

•Lost time and missed opportunities; 

•Emotional distress.

After the initial shock and sadness, you might wonder whether the law will help you make things right. Jill Hasday says, unfortunately, our legal system refuses to help most people who have been deceived within an intimate relationship, and courts and commentators tend to blame intimates for having been fooled in the first place!

Courts and legislatures have shielded this persistent and pervasive source of injury, placing too much emphasis on protecting intimate deceivers and too little importance on helping the people they deceive. Jill Hasday’s new book, INTIMATE LIES AND THE LAW, examines deception in dating, sex, marriage, and family life and uncovers the hidden body of law governing this duplicity.

Jill Hasday is a Distinguished McKnight University Professor and the Centennial Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota Law School. Her work focuses on family law, anti-discrimination law, constitutional law, and legal history. She graduated from Yale Law School and Yale College and clerked for Judge Patricia M. Wald of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

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