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Prepared by Emily Berthelot, University of Arkansas at Little Rock ©

2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.

CHAPTER TEN VICTIMS OF RAPES AND OTHER SEXUAL ASSAULTS

1. To become aware of the way the plight of rape victims

was rediscovered.

2. To understand the distinctions between stranger rapes,

acquaintance rapes, date rapes, and other sexual assaults.

3. To become familiar with the way girls and women who

reported their plight and sought help in the past were

mistreated.

4. To recognize victim-blaming arguments and victim-

defending points of view.

5. To appreciate the progress made by the several

components of the criminal justice system in handling rape

cases, as well as the problems that continue to burden

victims needlessly.

Learning Objectives

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Definitions

 RAPE—Latin ―rapere‖ taken by force.

 Common Law Rape— Unlawful carnal knowledge

committed by man against woman-not his wife.

 Forcible Rape— Victim fears harm if they do not

comply. Lack of consent is key factor.

 Aggravated Rape— More than one assailant,

presence of a weapon, or additional injuries.

 Statutory Rape— Consensual with underage partner.

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8/18/2015

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Victims of Sexual Assault

 Pro-victim and anti-rape movement of

70s exposed ongoing injustice, abuse

and systematic neglect.  Women fail to report for many reasons.

 CJ system mainly men and more concerned

with relationship prior to the rape than the

violence caused by the rape.

 Advocates claim rape is about power and

control—not love or passion.

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Victims of Sexual Assault

 Consequences of Sexual Assault:  Rape Crisis Syndrome

 Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

 Some rapes are not completed, but still leave psychological scars; increased risk of suicide

 Pregnancies as a result of rape become divisive high-profile issues due to links to the debate over abortion.

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Victims of Sexual Assault

 Real Rapes (Ideal Rapes) vs. Date Rapes

 Real Rapes defined as without question or doubt.

Elements consist of:

 Unsuspecting female assaulted by complete stranger

 Offender is armed

 Virtuous victim fights back, struggles and suffers injuries

 Victim involved in wholesome activity when occurred

 When escapes reports directly to police

 Forensic evidence found

 These cases treated with dignity and with sensitivity

by the CJ system.

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Victims of Sexual Assault

 Acquaintance Rapes— Existence of prior

relationship questions seriousness of act.

 Contributory Behavior— Forced

intercourse preceded by series of

consensual acts-less serious.

 Victim Precipitation— Are some rapes

involving certain circumstances less serious

due to prior conduct of the victim?

© 2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.

Victims of Sexual Assault

 Some argue that if rape preceded by series of consensual sexual overtones, her ―contributory behavior‖ makes the rape less serious.

 Advocates claim that what counts is that she was stripped of control, denied right to make a decision, and compelled to submit to someone else’s sexual desire.

 Legal definition hinges on coercion against non- consenting person and does not hinge on the prior relationship of the accuser and the accused.

© 2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.

Victims of Sexual Assault

 Victim-Blaming Views

 Victim used alcohol or drugs

 Put herself in temptation-opportunity situation

 Suggestive and seductive comments or dress

 Hitchhiking

 Date rape is ―terrible misunderstanding‖ of what

she said or meant

 Certain lifestyles precipitate rape

 In 2011, a public awareness ad related to heavy drinking

was pulled due to related controversy.

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Victims of Sexual Assault

 Two consequences from acceptance of victim-blaming:

 Male less culpable and less deserving of punishment if female shares responsibility.

 Girls and women must be better educated to behave more cautiously and prevent miscommunication of their desires.

 Misleading seductiveness might be taken as ―implied consent.‖

© 2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.

Victims of Sexual Assault

 Victim-Defending Perspective  Nothing erotic or suggestive could justify such a hostile

act

 Using force to compel should not be confused with

making love or engaging in sex

 When unwanted intercourse occurs, a real rape has been

committed, and not a seduction as the culmination of a

romantic courtship ritual

 Rape prevention efforts should not just be aimed at

females

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Incident Prevalence

F I G U R E

10.1 Trends in

Rape Rates,

United States,

1973–2013

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Incident Prevalence

 NCVS/UCR—In 2013, 45% reported their rape to the authorities—55% not reported.

 In 2013, the number of reported rapes reached its lowest point since the late 70s.

 Portrait of victims  Female late teens-early twenties  Unmarried, low income  Highest risk: black, unemployed, resides in

large city  22% raped by strangers from 2006-2010

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How the CJ System Handles Rape

Box 10.2 provides a set of benchmarks or

even a checklist that can be used to

evaluate how much progress has been

made in any given jurisdiction, and how

much more work remains to be

accomplished in the quest for justice

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Controversy Over Unfounded

Accusations

 Rape is unique crime: credibility of victim

is key.

 Safeguards must prevent honest mistakes

and perjury/fraudulent allegations.

 In the past, corroborative evidence was

required: rape kits, DNA, hospital tests, etc.

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Accuser vs. Accused

 6th Amendment rights to wage a vigorous

defense

 New Rape Victim Rights Legislation

 Several Defense Strategies

 Eyewitness error

 Deny it ever happened—attack victim credibility

 It happened but consensual—she changed her

mind after the event

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Accuser vs. Accused

 Publicity and the Media

 Rape Shield Laws

 Force and Resistance

 Reasonableness standard— Degree of resistance

that expresses lack of consent can depend on

circumstances.

 Best Prevention Strategy: ―Dual Verbal Response‖–

Calling out for help while simultaneously pleading

with or threatening the attacker.

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Accuser vs. Accused

 Corroboration—not required unless:

 Victim is a minor

 Previously intimate with offender

 Did not promptly report crime

 Provides a version of events that is inherently improbable

and self-contradictory

 Forensic evidence can corroborate a woman’s

claim (i.e. rape kit), but…

 Many rape kits are never analyzed due to old computer

systems, lack of resources, low priority sexual assault cases,

and understaffed labs with little storage space (Box 10.3).

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Arrest, Prosecution, and Adjudication

 Over 60% of rapes not reported to the police.

 Reported if weapon used or injuries.

 35% of all rape cases ―solved‖ by an arrest in 2011

 Cases were closed and charges were dropped in

nearly 15% of them because the victim refused to

cooperate further and were dismissed in about 25% of

them because prosecutors declined to press charges

 Negotiated plea often justified as it spares accuser

having to recount the crime.

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Rape Crisis Centers

 24-hour hotline to connect victims with advocates

 Accompany victims to hospital/police/prosecutor

 Arrange for counseling

 Arrange training to sensitize doctors, nurses, police

officers, and assistant district attorneys about the needs

and problems of the survivors

 Arrange educational campaigns to raise public

consciousness about the myths and realities of victims of

sex crimes

 Offers self-defense strategies

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Drug-Facilitated Date Rape

 Males surreptitiously administer ―club

drugs‖—popular during early 90s

 Rohypnol—Roofies

 GHB—Liquid ecstasy

 MDMA—Ecstasy

 Ketamine—Special K

 Large doses induce sedation and temporary amnesia-

more so when used with alcohol.

 Can result in loss of consciousness.

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Drug-Facilitated Date Rape

 Maximalists define ―date rape drug‖ as

any substance that renders the user

incapable of saying ―no‖ or asserting

herself.

 Drug-Induced Rape Prevention Act of

1996 imposed stiff penalties for sale or

possession.

 Education programs for awareness.

© 2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.

Drug-Facilitated Date Rape

Maximalist Position vs.

Minimalist Position

 Epidemic occurrences

 Least reported of all crimes

 Not counting accurately

 Difference between sexual assault and

consensual sex

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Drug-Facilitated Date Rape

 Minimalists question the ―scourge‖

 Study in Great Britain reflected most date

rapes were about binge drinking alone or

combined with recreational drug use.

 Women ―playing the victim‖ to avoid

responsibility.

 Even minimalists agree males should not take

advantage of women when under the

influence.

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Sexual Assaults on Campus

 Congress passed the federal Campus Sexual Assault Victims’ Bill of Rights in 1992, which imposed procedures outlining how college administrations ought to handle rape complaints.

 Campus antirape activists took a maximalist stance based on their belief that they had uncovered statistical evidence that sexual assault was a widespread but severely underreported problem

 Pointed out that the term date rape framed the issue too narrowly because assailants often were classmates, friends, and other acquaintances and not strictly boyfriends or ex-boyfriends, and that the forced sex took place on occasions other than formal dates

© 2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.

Campus Rape Surveys

 3,000 female students—32 colleges, 1987  17% suffered an attempted or completed

acquaintance rape per year

 Less than 5% reported to police

 5% sought assistance from rape crisis center

 50% of cases told no one

 84% knew the victim

 57% were on a date

 Most incidents occurred off-campus

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Sexual Assaults on Campus

 Minimalist Perspective  Argue that the maximalist definition was too broad,

vague, and inclusive

 Some disturbing and confusing sexual experiences might

fall into a gray area, and hence should be referred to as

gray rapes

 By overestimating the date rape problem, maximalists

were manufacturing a crisis to further their social agenda

of unfairly portraying male– female relationships as

inherently antagonistic and fraught with danger.

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Preventing Sexual Assaults on Campus

 Verbal resistance and running away

 Sensitizing college men and women to the issue

 Administration needs to sponsor workshops about dating

and intimacy for freshmen

 Student government distribution of guidelines and

handbooks

 Rape crisis centers should encourage reporting

© 2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.

Preventing Sexual Assaults on Campus

 In 2011, the Civil Rights Office of the U.S. Department of Education

issued guidelines that pressured colleges to adopt a zero-tolerance

stance toward both sexual harassment and sexual assaults on campus.

 In 2013, Congress passed the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act,

requiring that incidents of dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking

be included in annual campus crime statistics reports.

 In 2014, the Obama administration created a task force to coordinate

federal efforts to identify the best practices implemented on various

campuses across the country so that other college administrations could

more effectively prevent sexual assaults and handle cases brought to

their attention.

© 2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.

Rediscovery of More Rape Victims

 Sexually Assaulted Males

 NCVS reported about 15,000 males over the age of 11 were sexual assault victims in 2010.

 9% of reported rapes in one study: male on male.

 Males who are raped are highly unlikely to report the offense—grossly underestimated.

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 Wives raped by husbands

 Wife has a right to say ―no.‖

 Forcible rape of a spouse—1st law passed in South Dakota, 1975.

 1990: Every state provided no immunity if husband filed for divorced or separated.

 Occurrences not known—lack of reporting

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Rediscovery of More Rape Victims

Violence between Prisoners

 Prison Rape Reduction Act of 2003

 Institutions put on notice they must detect, prevent, and punish rape behind bars.

 An estimated 4.5% of inmates are victims annually

 Females inmates twice as likely to be sexually victimized than males

 Male inmates are more likely to be abused or assaulted within the first 24 hours

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Reducing the Threat of Rape:

Three Approaches

1. Blame the victim

 popular strategy of past—not today

 Encourage females to not precipitate the crime

through careless, reckless, or provocative

behavior

2. Blame the Offender

 predators are source of problem—remove

them from society

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Reducing the Threat of Rape:

Three Approaches

3. Institution-blaming approach  The roots of the problem of forced sex would focus upon the

economic, political, and social inequalities between males and

females and the cultural supports for rape in contemporary

culture

 burden of blame for recurring outbreaks of male ―sexual

terrorism‖ on key social institutions, especially the family, the

economy, the military, religion, and the media

 Collective solutions that get at the social roots of male-against-

female violence hold greater promise in the long run than any

reliance on individual strategies of risk reduction and self-

defense

© 2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.