Victims of Rape

by on December 10th, 2010
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Rape is an unlawful sexual intercourse without consent (S.U. 2012). In cases of statutory rape, consent could be present (S.U. 2012). Rape can be committed by strangers, acquaintances, or spouses (S.U. 2012). Marital or spousal rape was not a crime until the late 1970s but is currently a crime in all 50 states (S.U. 2012).

There can be different types of rapes (S.U. 2012). Acquaintance rape is the term that refers to rape by a friend, relative, or colleague known to the victim (S.U. 2012). Most criminologists and criminal justice personnel believe that the majority of rape is committed by someone the victim knows, perhaps accounting for as high as 85 percent of the rapes (S.U. 2012). Many rapists commit drug induced rape. This means that they use drugs to induce unconsciousness in the victim (S.U. 2012). The rapists may be known or unknown to the victims (S.U. 2012). If the rapist is a stranger, such rape is also called stranger rape (S.U. 2012). Real rape is a sociological term for cases that are identifiable and are not likely to raise any kind of legal questions or moral doubts (S.U. 2012). Such rapes have defining features (S.U. 2012). For example, the victim of a child who is abducted and molested by a stronger, older person (S.U. 2012). Lastly, there is gang rape. Group or gang rape occurs when more than one attacker is involved in raping the victim (S.U. 2012). One of the saddest things about rapes are they are underreported.

Although perpetrators of stranger rapes are difficult to locate acquaintance rapes are provide difficulties in underreporting (S.U. 2012). Some estimates state that as few as 10 percent of all of the acquaintance rapes are reported (S.U. 2012). There are a lot of possible reasons as to why rape is underreported such as the victim feeling as though it is something that brought upon themselves, the victim being too embarrassed to let people know they were raped, the victim thinking that no one will believe them since they know their victim, the victim feeling as though their rapist will come back and attack them again, and even the victim feeling as though the police will make them out to be the bad person. However, luckily there are some strategies that can be done to increase reporting of rape to the police.

Police departments are making an attempt to increase these percentages by creating a more comfortable atmosphere for rape victims, including but not limited to, the use of female investigators when it comes to handling rape cases and also the referral of rape victims to community support groups (S.U. 2012). The media has also been actively involved in increasing awareness of acquaintance rape and the problems faced by rape victims (S.U. 2012). This awareness is required because in cases of acquaintance rape, the idea of consent for sex is often ambiguous and prosecuting rapists who are acquaintances of victims is extremely complex (S.U. 2012).

Steps That Can Be Taken by Potential Victims, the police, the criminal justice system, and the community to decrease the prevalence of rape

1. Potential victims can prevent rape from occurring by making sure that they do not become distracted and always pay attention the their surrounds, trust their guts, yell when someone strange approaches them, never take drinks from anyone, and keep all of their information private just to name a few. 2. The police can prevent rape by responding to 911 calls faster and offering classes to teach victims how to protect themselves during a time of rape. 3. The criminal justice system can decrease the prevalence of rape by enforcing harsher sentences and making it harder for rapist to survive in the real world. 4. The community can decrease the prevalence of rape by reporting strange things and people they see in the community and also by knowing whether or not sex offenders live in the community.

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