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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 48695 Find in a Library
Title: VICTIMS OF RAPE
Journal: SOCIETY  Volume:14  Issue:5  Dated:(JULY/AUGUST 1977)  Pages:29-32
Author(s): F R SCARPITTI; E C SCARPITTI
Corporate Author: Rutgers University
Transaction Periodicals Consortium
United States of America
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: Rutgers University
Brunswick, NJ 08903
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE EVOLVING ATTITUDES TOWARD THE CRIME OF RAPE AND ITS VICTIMS ARE DISCUSSED.
Abstract: CONCERN ABOUT RAPE AND ITS EFFECTS MAY BE GROWING BECAUSE OF THREE INTERRELATED FACTORS: CHANGING STANDARDS REGARDING THE DEPICTION AND DISCUSSION OF SEX AND VIOLENCE; A DRAMATIC INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF RAPES THAT ARE BEING REPORTED TO POLICE; AND AND A RISING CONSCIOUSNESS ABOUT RAPE ON THE PART OF WOMEN. ALSO, RAPE IS BEING VIEWED MORE FREQUENTLY AS A CRIME OF VIOLENCE RATHER THAN A CRIME OF PASSION. THE CHANGING PUBLIC ATTITUDES TOWARD RAPE ARE ALSO BEING REFLECTED IN THE ACTIONS OF JURORS. IN 1975, 42 PERCENT OF THE ADULTS PROSECUTED FOR RAPE WERE FOUND . GUILTY, WHILE 12 PERCENT WERE CONVICTED OF OFFENSES OF A LESSER DEGREE. THE RAPE VICTIM NEED NO LONGER ASSUME THAT SHE WILL BE HUMILIATED, SHAMED, OR DISBELIEVED IN HER ATTEMPT TO SEEK JUSTICE. IT IS ARGUED THAT PRESENT RAPE LAWS ARE SEXIST BECAUSE THEY EMPHASIZE A WOMAN'S SEXUALITY RATHER THAN HER RIGHTS AS A PERSON. IT IS SUGGESTED THAT RAPE BE VIEWED AS ONE OF MANY TYPES OF SEXUAL VIOLATIONS THAT ARE EQUALLY REPREHENSIBLE AND NOT SEX-SPECIFIC. A COMPREHENSIVE, SEX-NEUTRAL OFFENSE MIGHT BE TERMED SEXUAL ASSAULT, SEXUAL BATTERY, CRIMINAL SEXUAL CONDUCT, OR CRIMINAL SEXUAL CONTACT, AND WOULD FOCUS ATTENTION ON A PERSON'S BEING CRIMINALLY ASSAULTED RATHER THAN ON A WOMAN'S BODY BEING DEFILED BY RAPE. RAPE WITHIN A MARRIAGE IS STILL NOT A CRIME IN THE U.S. , ALTHOUGH LAWS IN AUSTRALIA HAVE MADE WOMEN EQUAL PARTNERS IN MARITAL SEX WHO HAVE THE RIGHT TO DENY INTERCOURSE. IT IS SUGGESTED THAT THE MOST EFFECTIVE MEANS OF COMBATING RAPE IS TO EDUCATE THE PUBLIC AGAINST SEXISM. THE INCIDENCE OF RAPE WILL NOT BE SIGNIFICANTLY ALTERED UNLESS THERE IS A MEANINGFUL CHANGE IN THE PUBLIC VALUES WHICH DETERMINE THE ROLE OF WOMEN IN SOCIETY. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED--JSP)
Index Term(s): Attitudes; Convictions; Crime prevention measures; Criminal Justice System Response to Victims; Juries; Rape; Sex discrimination; Sexual assault victims; Societal reactions to crime
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=48695

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