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Sex Crimes in America

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I accept that sex crimes have a real impact on the victims but it is noted and no longer taken significantly. Sex crimes are often overlooked because it isn’t considered to be a serious crime because of the lack of consequences handed out to those who commit these crimes and the fact that it is simply not understood. In this essay you will learn about all who plays a part in enabling the criminals, the statistics on which these things occur, the causes and effects, and finally how sex crimes are dealt with.

How is a sexual assault victim defined? A sexual assault victim is someone who was taken advantage of and was forced into having contact in a sexual manner that they did not want to take part in. The term sexual assault can describe a large range of criminal acts. This can take many forms including attacks like rape, attempted rape, and any unwanted sexual contact or threats. Even through clothes, without that person’s consent, it’s still considered to be a form of sexual assault.

Believe it or not, in the aftermath of a sexual assault or rape, survivors can face extremely difficult and painful emotions and experiences. Every survivor of sexual assualt will respond to traumatic events in their own way and the effects of the trauma can be short-term or long-term after the sexual assault or rape. How a victim responds to these events depends on the person. According to the New York Times, a trauma victim can easily appear calm, quiet, distraught, or overly angry. The article stated that victims may react by self medicating. This could mean engaging in high-risk sexual behavior, withdrawing from those around them, or by trying to regain control. Some even go as far as to initiate sexual abuse so they can know it’s coming. All of these things are signs that the victims are suffering from some form of traumatic event that had occurred in their life. And according to RAINN, only 5 out of every 1000 rapes committed (0.5%) ends in a felony conviction. The Washington Post puts the figure at 7 out of 1,000, but pretty much everyone agrees it’s under 1%. We usually try to make sense of this painfully low number by noting that many rapes aren’t reported, which is true, but the crime is also notoriously under-investigated. And when it is investigated, it’s pretty tough to prove, not because of the crime’s high proof threshold, but because of how little evidence about it we bother to collect.

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Often times sexual assault isn’t seen as a crime because those that commit them aren’t held accountable and those that are responsible for holding them accountable don’t do their job efficiently. Often times it’s the people on high pedal stools that take advantage of the system like Nicholas Shumaker. He was convicted in 2017 of the sexual assault on Emma Top.The recommended sentence was four years in a state prison with other violent offenders. The judge gave him one year in a county jail. He was out in nine months. “The professionals in this case generally agree there is no purpose served by Mr. Shumaker going to prison, that it will not change him in any positive way, that it will not help Ms. Top”, said the judge. Top herself told the Star Tribune she felt differently: “I felt like for what he had done, he basically got a slap on the wrist”. A rapist can off with little to no jail time, while a homeless man was sentenced up to three to six years from attempting to buy items with a fake twenty- dollar bill. A lot of the time it’s the judges and the police force we have to hold accountable when things like this occur. And then there’s the law enforcement. 25 law enforcement agencies in 14 states were found destroying rape kits. Even the rape statistics we actually have are likely much too low, because—given a major incentive to lower caseloads and no reporting standard—law enforcement has a history of improperly clearing sexual assaults. For decades, police departments abused the ‘unfounded’ classification reserved for false or baseless rape claims (a practice that helped to undergird the myth of prevalent false-rape claims).

Some may argue that the victims did not come forward right away, doesn’t act like a victim, stayed friendly with their abuser, or that their story doesn’t add up, but all of those things have been proven that the victims aren’t lying but are in fact just afraid of the negative consequences that come with coming forward like Leigh Corfman. She was 14 when she was assaulted while helping upend a Senate race in Alabama by the Republican candidate, Roy S. Mooreall. She waited nearly four decades later to come forward. She said she was worried for years and that going public would affect her children, and her history of divorce and financial mistakes would undermine her account. And besides, criticizing the victims doesn’t help the victims case or prove them wrong but instead help the offenders. You see, offenders encourage confusion and shame and exploit people’s reluctance to identify themselves as victims. Veronique valliere, a psychologist who counsels sexual assault perpetrators and victims and consults with the military and law enforcement, said the offenders she treats list two main statistics used to obscure assaults: they camouflage the act as horseplay or humor, or they act as though nothing happened as a way to keep the victims silent as a way to the victims silent. When it comes to serious assaults the public imagines that they are committed by strangers in a dark alley, and their base of view of how victims should read t on that idea, even though the vast majority of assaults occur between people who know one another. Many people aren’t psychologically prepared to accept how common harrassment and assault are, experts say they tend to look for reasons to disbelieve. And when the media begins to question the victims they also begin to let the offender off the hook which creates a chain of disbelieve.

In despite of all of this, sexual assault survivors are still to this day holding their head high and are living in their truths regardless of what you, the media or me has to say. The ideas about rape inherent indeterminacy (who knows what really happened?) need to change. We can know so much more than we think about what happened to survivors, all it takes is the moral and political will to really think. When it comes to serious assaults the public imagines that they are committed by strangers in a dark alley, and their base of view of how victims should react is on that idea, even though the vast majority of assaults occur between people who know one another. Many people psychologically prepared to accept how common harassment and assault are, experts say they tend to look for reasons to disbelieve. And when the media begins to question the victims and they also begin to let the offender off the hook which creates the chain of not holding the offender accountable.

Despite this, sexual assault survivors are still, to this day, holding their heads high and are living in their truths regardless of what you, the media, or me has to say. The ideas about rape inherent indeterminancy need to change. We can know so much more than we think about what happened to survivors, all it takes is the moral and political will to really think.

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Sex Crimes in America. (2022, August 25). Edubirdie. Retrieved November 29, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/sex-crimes-in-america/
“Sex Crimes in America.” Edubirdie, 25 Aug. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/sex-crimes-in-america/
Sex Crimes in America. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/sex-crimes-in-america/> [Accessed 29 Nov. 2022].
Sex Crimes in America [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Aug 25 [cited 2022 Nov 29]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/sex-crimes-in-america/
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