Term Paper: Sex Offenses

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Sex Offenses

Sexual offences are perpetrated through several ways and human trafficking is one of them. Trafficking in persons can be termed as slavery in its latest avatar, entailing victims who are compelled through deceitful means or forced to work without pay or exploited sexually. Yearly, more than 6, 00,000 to 8, 00,000, are trafficked through the borders of nations with the bulk consisting of women and children. People are cajoled into trafficking through several traps. In some instances physical force is applied while in others bogus promises of giving jobs or marriages overseas in order to lure victims. The impact of human trafficking is multifarious depriving individuals of their freedoms and human rights and poses a world health risk and helps in proliferating organized crime. Besides, it has a damaging effect on victims who sometimes suffer bodily as well as abuse relating to emotions, rape, intimidations, theft of passports and also death in certain cases. Nevertheless, the effect of human trafficking transcends beyond the victims damaging the security and safety of every nation where it happens. (Bureau of Public Affairs, 2004)

The U.S. administration has taken a slew of important actions to fight trafficking that includes (i) enactment of a law thereby prosecuting Americans who sexually assault children with imprisonment of 30 years (ii) the Deptt of Justice -- DoJ has accorded importance on increasing the number of trafficking victims released and the number of prosecutions and convictions of traffickers. Understanding the transnational nature of human trafficking, collaboration between nations is important to triumph the combat against this modern form of slavery. American Congress had passed the Trafficking Victims Protection Act - TVPA during the year 2000 and gave more teeth to it in 2003 which gives weapon for the U.S. To fight trafficking in persons within the country as well as abroad. (Bureau of Public Affairs, 2004)

On the whole, little unanimity exists regarding what is to be categorized as a sexual crime. Under English Law which is different from other jurisdictions, there is no official distinction between sexual and non-sexual offending. The closest thing we have to an official list of sexual offences is under the Sexual Offences Act of 1956 that forms the basis of the official Home Office Statistics. Under this, sexual crime is classified into twelve distinct categories of reportable offences, i.e. buggery, rape, offensive attack on a female, sexual intercourse with a girl which is unlawful, procuration, incest, bigamy, abduction, and serious indecency with a child. The list comprises of a broad range of human behaviors. A particular amended version lists 43 different criminal offences involving sex. Since the number of the provisions makes more than one offence, the overall number of different sexual offences perhaps counts into several hundred. Nevertheless these behaviors seem to have scanty in common apart from an association with sex. The list counts together offences that need the performance of sexual acts such as buggery, rape and offences that are motivated by sex, but cases in which there has not been any sexual act like abduction and offences that are less directly associated with sex like bigamy, procuration. Some acts like flagellation are unlawful by nature of the act while others like rape due to lack of consent. (Sampson, 1993)

The idea of consent is central to the definition of sexual offending. Sexual activities are supposed to be consensual and it is normally spoken about consenting adults. If one party to a sexual act does not give his/her consent, it leads to sexual offending. The sexual offence of rape definitely happens when sexual activity takes place in the absence of consent of the victim and that victim has been overcome by physical force or immediate dangers of violence. It is important to note that children and young people are considered not been able to give a complete autonomous consent as they lack the competence to make the decision till they have attained a certain age i.e. The age in which they are capable enough to give consent. Consent has also been revealed as a continuum, which has a positive consent at one end across to a reluctant agreement of submission at the other with the latter can also be given without any consent at all which would imply that a sex offence has been committed. A rising figures of rapes are being stated to have been committed by people familiar to the victim and are referred to as 'acquaintance' or 'intimate' rapes as against 'stranger' rapes. (Thomas, 2005)

Obscene Telephone calls is one more way of sex offence used for intimidating women. A lot of women respondents reported a variety of responses to obscene phone calls and the majority among them experienced that it has hues of terrorism attached to it. The dynamics of obscene telephone calls reflects the social construction of gender and is the fusion of dominance and sexuality. Sexual terrorism constitutes the system through which men and boys terrify, and through this terror they dominate and control women and girls. Hence sexual terrorism is marked through actual as well as implied violence and every woman can be potential victims coming from any age, time, or in any location and through several means i.e. rape, abuse by physical means, assault through incest. Besides, it can also be through harassment, prostitution as well as pornography. Several types of sexual intimidation are seen as normal which means ordinary, routine occurrences. They are sometimes readily ignored by the women themselves and by the agents of social control and get minimum attention. (Sheffield, 1989)

Among the sexual offences, rape constitutes the most unreported crime in USA. Considerable changes to reform the treatment of sexual attack victims have happened during the last two decades. Getting a precise estimation of rape and other categories of sexual assaults poses a challenge. Finding out the extent and nature of rape and other categories of sexual assault is dependent on the manner in which these crimes are outlined and measured. Correct information regarding cases of rape and its victims are necessary to guarantee that victims get valuable treatment and reported cases are systematically investigated and prosecuted. Just a small proportion of rape cases get reported before the police, and it is very important that people understand regarding these cases as also the victims. Besides, it is crucial to take into account the issues like (i) urging the victims to report regarding the attacks to police is very crucial as majority of the rapists will continue their act unless they are caught, prosecuted and incarcerated. (ii) it is very important to understand the degree of America's sexual assault problem in order to deal with it in a proper manner. (iii) Various types of cases of sexual assault cases need divergent investigative and prosecutorial strategies to improve the odds of successful prosecution. The size, funding and staffing of law enforcement agencies in the U.S. differs extensively. Adequate research collected from all sources generates compelling evidence that the majority of the rape cases are perpetrated by people who are well acquainted by their victims. This has deep implications regarding the manner in which rape cases are to be examined and prosecuted. (Kilpatrick, 2000)

33% of the completed rape victims sustained minor forms of injuries, and 5% had suffered added serious injuries. Further 2/3rds of the attempted rape victims had also faced minor forms of injuries. 3% of the victims who were injured were severely injured at the time of an attempted rape. 54% of the injured sexual attacked victims stated to receive minor injures and 5% of them were seriously injured. As regards the matter of reporting to the police, majority of the sexual assaults do not enter the record books of police. Findings state that 63% of the rapes which were completed, 65% of the rapes which were attempted and 745 of the attempted and completed sexual attacks against the females went unreported. At the time when police had been informed regarding a rape or of a sexual assault, it was the victim who mostly reported the matter. The major reasons cited for not reporting to the law enforcement agencies was that it construed a personal matter.

It was seen that closer the relation between the offender and the female victim, the higher are the chances that it could go unreported. Another interesting finding was that in cases wherein the offender was a present or an erstwhile boyfriend or husband, roughly 3/4ths of all victimization went unreported to the police. It was also found that when the offender happened to be an acquaintance or a friend, 61% cases relating to rapes, 71% cases of attempted rapes, as well as 82% of the sexual assaults went unreported. (Rennison, 2002)

With sexual violence presently identified as an instrument of war and a carrying a punishment for the violation of human rights, it is imperative upon the international community, national governments and also humanitarian organizations to deliver more efficient safeguards to women and girls. The principal obligation as regards safeguarding… [END OF PREVIEW]

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