Essay about Victims of Forcible Rape

Essay about Victims of Forcible Rape

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Rape has long been considered as one of the worst of crimes, but for centuries it was handled without much care for the victim. It used to be thought of as more of a harm against the man, husband or father, instead of something against the woman. In the past, some rapists were punished severely while others were not. This typically depended a great deal on the social status of both the victim and the aggressor (Karmen, 2010). For example, in biblical times, a man could be sentenced to death for the rape of a virgin, but a married woman who was raped could be sentenced to death for enticing the rape. In medieval times, a man might steal a young woman from a wealthy family in order to force her to marry him and thus give him better status, and during the time of feudalism, only the rape of a noble woman was a crime (Karmen).
In more recent years, however, things have begun to change. In the 1970s, the feminist movement began to draw attention to the plight of women who had been raped (Karmen, 2010). 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).
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...

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...(1991). Counseling victims of violence. Alexandria, VA: American Association for Counseling and Development.
Burgess, A. W., & Holmstrom, L. L. (1974). Rape: Victims of crisis. Bowie, MD: Robert J. Brady Company.
Davis, R. C., Lurigio, A. J., & Skogan, W. G. (1997). Victims of crime (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Gilbert, N. (2003). The prevalence of rape has been exaggerated. In H. Cothran (Ed.), Sexual violence. Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven Press.
Gilmartin, P. (1994). Rape, incest, and child abuse: Consequences and recovery. New York, NY: Garland Publishing, Inc.
Hursch, C. J. (1977). The trouble with rape. Chicago, IL: Nelson-Hall, Inc.
Karmen, A. (2010). Crime victims: An introduction to victimology. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cenage Learning.
Macdonald, J. M. (1975). Rape: Offenders and their victims. Springfield, IL: Charles C Thomas.

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