With the discovery of the victim’s plight, laws began to be put into place to help convict the offender and defend the victim. Today, rape is still a crime punished by death in some countries, and it is even scorned by other inmates within the walls of a prison (Macdonald, 1975). SYNTHESIS OF SCHOLARLY RESEARCH Like many crimes, rape has had a variety of legal definitions over the years. The word rape comes from the Latin word rapere means “to take by force.” An early English common law definition described rape as the unlawful carnal knowledge of a woman (Karmen, 2010). Another common definition, and the one used by the FBI for the Uniform Crime Report, is that rape is the carnal knowledge of a woman by force and without consent (M... ... middle of paper ... ...(1991).
New York, New York: Basic Books Inc. Centre Against Sexual Assault (1999). Sexual Assault- Impact and Consequences. Retrieved October 17, 2001 from http://www.casahouse.casa.org.au/html Clancy, Atosha (1998). Rape Trauma Syndrome. Retrieved October 17, 2001, from http://www.medicineau.net.au/clinical/psychiatry/rts.html Gordon, Margaret T., & Riger, Stephanie (1989).
The actual act of rape by definition of law is the penetration by the perpetrator against one’s will. Rape is a physical and emotional crime which leaves un-curable scars. When a male sexually abuses a female he may not fully understand or care about the emotional toll placed on her life forever. Her outlook on life may change and she may feel that she is all alone. There are a lot of different disorders that rape victims come in contact with but one sticks out more than the others.
Are Rape Statistics Exaggerated? A Response to Criticism of Contemporary Rape Research. Journal of Sex Research, 31(2), 144-146. Pat, M. (2013, May 20). Frequently Asked Questions About the Change in the UCR Definition of Rape.
To put it bluntly, all individuals who claim rape are viewed as liars, which is obviously not true. In turn, it makes it very difficult for rape victims to come forward about their victimization out of fear of scrutiny and humiliation. Rape is broken down into different types but there is a general definition to describe what rape entails. According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, rape is defined as “forced sexual intercourse including both psychological coercion as well as physical force” (Stuart von Wormer & Bartollas, 2011, p. 194). The definition is meant to encompass all forms of sexual intercourse (vaginal, anal, and oral) and includes instances where a foreign object was used for penetration.
One aspect of rape that remains a mystery is why people feel the need rape others. Rapists are the scariest of criminals in the sense that they can appear to be normal, mentally stable individuals. Rapists come from every race, social class, and level of education. Researcher's studying rape group rapists in to profiles to try to understand why people rape. I her essay "The Psychology of Rape", Mackenzie Jackson theorizes that "Some do it to confirm their manliness, some do it to feel powerful, and others do it because they hate women as a whole".
According to law enforcement, there are two types of rape; sexual assault, which is intended but only for one’s self-pleasure, and there’s aggravated sexual assault which is directed as revenge and a feeling of power over the victim. Combining these two resulted in 96,122 rapes reported in the year 1997 alone. “An estimated 70 of every 100,000 females in the country were reported rape victims in 1997…” (Kilpatrick 1). Rape was a massive concern in the 1970’s and has only increased since then. Due to the constant incline of reports of rape, laws have needed to become more strict to prevent it.
These ‘blurred lines’ lead to a prevalence of rape culture and victim blaming. Victim blaming and turning a blind eye to victims of rape and sexual assault cases is not only supporting rape culture but is also dangerous for the mental state of the victim. Rape and rape culture is a prevalent occurrence in modern American society. In America one out of every six women and one out of every 33 men have been a victim of a rape that was completed or attempted (“Who are the Victims?”). Unfortunately not many of these are recognized or even reported to the police.
To most Americans Rape has a tendency to be one of the cruelest forms of criminal violence. The victim can suffer from incredible injuries, and substantial amounts of embarrassment. Rendered powerless by physical force, threats, or fear, after which being forced to submit to sexual acts, including vaginal penetration, oral copulation, sodomy, and penetration opening with a foreign object, the victim is left virtually alone. Rape is an intrusion into the most private and intimate parts of the body, as well as an assault on the core of the self. Whether or not the victim acquires any physical injuries, the psychological impact of a sexual assault is severe.
Rape is one of the most underreported crimes. In 2002, only thirty-nine percent of rapes and sexual assaults were reported to law officials. ("Sexual Violence: Fact Sheet.") Victims sometimes do not report that they have raped because of shame or feeling that it was their fault. It is never the victim's fault.