• A. Sandhu (law student)

Who’s Going Down? The Handmaid’s Tale - Season 1 Episode 1, “Offred”

Content Warning: Abuse and sexual assault; The Handmaid’s Tale spoilers

The Hulu series, The Handmaid’s Tale* follows Offred in her quest to survive life in the Republic of Gilead. In this dystopian society, few women are fertile and those unlucky few who are fertile are forced to become handmaids. Handmaids are considered to be the property of a male commander and are forced to participate in “Ceremony Days”. Offred is sent to live in the Waterford household with Fred and Serena Waterford where she becomes the property of Fred. During Ceremony Days, Offred is forced to participate in a ritual during which she must engage in sexual relations with Fred. Serena is also involved in the ritual. If this unfortunate scenario were to occur in a Canadian jurisdiction, what criminal charges could be brought, and against whom?

*The Handmaid’s Tale, 2017, Hulu (Los Angeles, Cal: Hulu).