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For many centuries the crime of sexual violence has been perceived as a gendered crime of power mostly victimizing women. The legal system, at least in theory, puts rape to be a punishable crime, nonetheless when rape cases are brought before the law they are hit with the allegation of the ‘rape myth’, the victim’s legitimacy is continuously questioned and the defense party is given the power to undermine the victim’s story. Not only the victims of such horrendous offences are stripped off their right to justice; they are revictimized and mistreated in the courtroom and society if they are not seen to fit the category of the ‘ideal victim’. The neglect of rape cases before the law has led victims of this offence to become unwilling to report the incident causing sexual assault to become the most underreported crime in our criminal justice system. This issue has therefore become one of the main focuses of the feminist theory, which attempts to understand the criminal justice system’s discrimination and misuse of power against women.

Conley defines rape as a “crime in which a man overpowers a woman, using actual or threatened force to take sexual advantage of her” . 4 out of 5 women “per 1000 are raped each year” , however not all rape cases are reported. The difficulties and discrimination that women experience in the legal system, caused victims to refuse reporting this offence thus lowering the reporting rate to 20%. According to the statistics given by Powell, only “15-20% result in charges being laid” . That is the due to struggles associated with meeting the standard of proof; the ‘rape myth’ that is entrenched in our legal system/community that involves women having to evidence obvious physical injuries in order to be clas...

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...le to assault her- in many cases this requirement is met, as men are known for being physically stronger than women.

Due to the previously discussed concept, women are largely discriminated against by the criminal justice system and denied their right to justice. This is specifically true of women who have been involved in prior sexual activities whether with or other than their offender. “Officials deny justice to women who have been engaged in non marital sex” , as well as those who may have been engaged in a ‘flirtatious’ relationship with their offender by directing their attention on the women’s character. If she was involved in any ‘provocative’ behaviour such as dancing near the offender, prior to the incident she is seen to have “violated traditional norms of female prudence or morality” causing the blame to shift making the victim the primary suspect.

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