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Rape Essay, Research Paper

Rape is the act of sexual intercourse with a person without their consent or with a minor. Generally, for the crime to constitute rape, the person must resist, unless they are incapable of resistance because of mental or physical weakness or deterred from it by fear of bodily harm. A person younger than a designated age, which varies in different states, is considered incapable of giving their consent . There are basically two kinds of rape, date rape and rape by an unknown person. Date rape is much more common, but the latter is the type of rape that most people associate with when they think of rape. Date rape typically occurs when a woman is alone with a man. Most cases happen when a woman and a man are alone at a house; or any other isolated place. Sometimes parties are a prime place for rape, even if many people are present.

Alcohol and drugs are a significant factor in date rape. On numerous occasions the victim has drunk too much, and they usually can?t discern the situation and act logically. Or sometimes the victim has passed out and is raped while unconscious. Mixed signals are another element in date rape. The woman acts in a friendly manner, the man interprets this friendliness as an invitation. “No” is heard as “maybe” and even a strong protest can be ignored under the misconception that women say “no” when they mean “yes.” Many times the woman is afraid of saying ?no? firmly because it would be considered impolite or it would hurt the man?s feelings. She says it while she is smiling or laughing. This mixed message is especially common in cases of date rape.

In general rape is often difficult to prove. A weapon is rarely used and so it is harder for a person to prove that they were forced to have sex. It is almost always his word against hers. The man’s attorney may argue that the woman “wanted” to have sex with his client, did so, and then thought better of it and so charged rape. The man or woman has to prove that he or she did not want sex, resisted, and was overpowered. However, most rape cases, at least 65%, aren?t even reported. For various reasons this happens: The victim wouldn?t want the publicity, he or she may fear revenge by the rapist, or other reasons. Unfortunately, many cases never even make it to court because they are a lack of evidence. Most cases of rape can be prevented, especially in instances of date rape. There are many things a woman can do to minimize the chances of being raped. Before a person even starts a relationship they should know their position on sex, by this they should set limits on how far they?d want to go with a person. And the best thing to do is to tell a partner early on their feelings about sex. Date rape occurs, many times, at the beginning of relationships because things are going too fast.

You should avoid secluded places where you?re vulnerable. Especially at the beginning of a relationship, you should go to places where there are other people, even if you don?t the people there. Another thing is if you invite you date over or if you go over to his house, you should be careful, and aware of situations that can lead to rape. If your date makes you feel uncomfortable you should be assertive in your feelings and don?t give mixed messages. However, the most important thing a woman can do for preventing rape is never to drink alcohol or take drugs, because these things can impair judgment and they very easily lead to rape. If a person is raped, the effects can be very devastating, especially emotionally. Many times the person feels like they have no control over their life. If it is acquaintance rape, many women feel like it?s their fault because they had known the person, and that person never acted like that before. The thing that the victim should do first is she should tell an authority or tell a close friend/relative. It may be very hard to talk about, but this is the best way to get on the road to recovery. The victim should also understand that it wasn?t their fault, and the rapist was the one who did it. It wasn?t brought on by anything the victim did. The best person to consult and talk to after a rape incident is a professional counselor. They are trained in this kind of thing, and he or she is your best bet. Another way to help the victim overcome the tragedy is by joining a support group. These are groups with other people who can empathize with the victim in what she is going through. The recovery process will obviously take some time, but with the help of family, friends, and others it can be a less painful and quicker time.

Today, every state in the United States has a law against sexual assaults or rape, yet the specific definition of the crime varies. In fact, in 1974 Michigan became the first state to make a rape reform law that was intended to eliminate the century of old myths and legal traditions that were applied to the crime of rape. Since 1974, all 50 states have modified their sexual assault laws. The reforms include the following goals:

1) To increase the likelihood of reporting assaults, as well as the arrest and conviction rates.

2) To make the legal standard for sexual assault consistent with those for other crimes

3) To increase control over decisions made in the criminal-justice system

4) To protect victims from demeaning treatment during rape trials by limiting cross-examination

5) To sensitize and educate society about the status and rights of women.

This is what we believe are some possible ways to improve today?s sexual assault laws may include some of the following suggestions:

1) Continuing education on the crime of sexual assault through the use of prime-time

television and documentaries.

2) Continuing education through the use of radio.

3) Instead of internet ?pop-up? to promote pornography and other sexual material use the ?pop-ups? for community education.

4) Emphasize that men can be victims, as well as women, of sexual assault.

5) Encourage victims of sexual assault to report sexual offenses.

6) Educate the public of their rights against the violation of sexual assault and ensure the victims that humiliation is not directed at the victim, the accused is the focus of humiliation.

7) Start or join in community meetings allowing one to speak out on the topic of sexual assault

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