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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 51800 Find in a Library
Title: RAPE IN THE UNITED STATES
Journal: JOURNAL OF FORENSIC SCIENCES  Volume:23  Issue:4  Dated:(OCTOBER 1978)  Pages:845-851
Author(s): A F SCHIFF
Corporate Author: American Acad of Forensic Sciences
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 7
Sponsoring Agency:
Miami, FL 33133
American Acad of Forensic Sciences
Colorado Springs, CO 80901-0669
Sale Source: 3200 Kirk Street
Miami, FL 33133
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: REASONS FOR THE INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF RAPES IN THE U.S., 1967-1977, ARE SUGGESTED, AND CHANGES IN PUBLIC ATTITUDES TOWARD THE VICTIM, OFFICIAL ATTITUDES TOWARD THE RAPIST, AND LEGAL ATTITUDES TOWARDS BOTH ARE TRACED.
Abstract: AFTER A REVIEW OF STATISTICS CONCERNING RAPE IN THE UNITED STATES, IT IS CONCLUDED THAT THE RISING NUMBER OF RAPES CAN BE ATTRIBUTED TO A COMPLEX COMBINATION OF SOCIOCULTURAL AND SOCIOECONOMIC FACTORS, INCLUDING A TRANSIENT POPULATION, WEAKENING LAWS, AND THE GENERAL RISE IN CRIME RATES. THE PUBLIC CHANGE IN ATTITUDE TOWARD VICTIMS IS TRACED FROM UNSYMPATHETIC ATTITUDES PREVAILING BEFORE THE 1960'S THROUGH THE ESTABLISHMENT OF RAPE-CRISIS CENTERS AND THE PROVISION OF FEMALE OFFICERS TO SECURE THE VICTIM'S TESTIMONY IN THE 1970'S. CHANGES IN ATTITUDES TOWARD THE RAPIST ARE ALSO DOCUMENTED. THE PRESENT EMPHASIS IS ON TREATMENT FOR OFFENDERS. IN VIRTUALLY ALL 50 STATES LAWS GOVERNING RAPE HAVE THEIR ROOTS IN ENGLISH COMMON LAW. THIS COMMON LAW IS EXAMINED AND THE RELATIONSHIP TO PRESENT-DAY RAPE LAW TRACED. SINCE 1974 MANY STATES HAVE REVISED THEIR RAPE LAWS TO OBTAIN CONVICTIONS MORE EASILY AND TO EXTEND THE DEFINITION OF RAPE TO INCLUDE BOTH MALES AND FEMALES, THUS ELIMINATING THE OLD SODOMY STATUTES. THE FLORIDA LAW IS EXAMINED IN DETAIL AND EXAMPLES ARE ALSO INCLUDED FROM MICHIGAN'S NEW RAPE LAW. REVISIONS IN THE STATUTES OF NEW YORK AND OHIO ARE BRIEFLY MENTIONED. IMPORTANT COMPONENTS OF ALL THESE LAWS ARE THE ELIMINATION OF THE NEED FOR CORROBORATING TESTIMONY, PROTECTION OF THE VICTIM'S RIGHT TO PRIVACY, AND THE BROADENING OF THE RAPE DEFINITION TO INCLUDE ASSORTED ACTS WHICH ARE CALLED 'SEXUAL BATTERY.' THESE CHANGES ARE EXPLAINED BRIEFLY. REFERENCES ARE INCLUDED. (GLR)
Index Term(s): Crime Causes; Florida; Michigan; New York; Ohio; Public Attitudes/Opinion; Rape; Rape crisis centers; Rape investigations; Scientific techniques; Sex offenders; Sex offense causes; Sexual assault victims; Societal reactions to crime; Sodomy; State laws; Victim-witness legislation
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51800

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