skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

 

NCJ Number: 62900 Find in a Library
Title: LAW OF INCEST IN ENGLAND AND WALES
Journal: CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT  Volume:3  Issue:3/4  Dated:SPECIAL ISSUE (1979)  Pages:679-682
Author(s): A H MANCHESTER
Corporate Author: Pergamon Press, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: Pergamon Press, Inc
Elmsford, NY 10523
Type: Statistics
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE LEGAL DEFINITION AND PROCESS, PUNISHMENT AND TREATMENT, INCIDENCE, AND RATIONALE FOR THE OFFENSE OF INCEST IN ENGLAND AND WALES ARE DISCUSSED.
Abstract: CURRENTLY, IT IS AN OFFENSE IN ENGLAND AND WALES FOR A MAN TO HAVE SEXUAL INTERCOURSE WITH A WOMAN WHO HE KNOWS TO BE HIS GRANDDAUGHTER, DAUGHTER, SISTER, OR MOTHER. IT IS ALSO AN OFFENSE FOR A WOMAN 16 YEARS OF AGE OR OVER TO PERMIT HER GRANDFATHER, FATHER, BROTHER, OR SON TO HAVE SEXUAL INTERCOURSE WITH HER BY CONSENT. INCEST IS PUNISHABLE BY IMPRISONMENT NOT EXCEEDING 7 YEARS; HOWEVER, IF THE INCEST IS WITH A GIRL UNDER 13 YEARS OF AGE, IMPRISONMENT MAY BE FOR LIFE. THE PUNISHMENT FOR ATTEMPTED INCEST IS IMPRISONMENT NOT EXCEEDING 2 YEARS. NO PROSECUTIONS FOR INCEST MAY BE INITIATED WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS. OF 57 CASES OF FATHER-DAUGHTER INCEST NONCUSTODIAL SENTENCES WERE IMPOSED IN ONLY 9 PERCENT OF THE CASES. IN 12 CASES OF BROTHER-SISTER INCEST, IMPRISONMENT WAS IMPOSED IN ONLY 4 CASES. TREATMENT FOR THE OFFENDER IS RARELY AVAILABLE EVEN WHEN CLEARLY APPROPRIATE. CRIMINAL STATISTICS FOR ENGLAND AND WALES SHOW THAT ABOUT 300 CASES OF INCEST ARE REPORTED EACH YEAR; ABOUT HALF COME TO TRIAL. IN 1908, THE GOVERNMENT TOOK THE VIEW THAT INCEST WAS NOT RARE AND THAT SOCIETY HAD AN INTEREST IN PROHIBITING IT ON GENETIC GROUNDS. THE GENETIC RATIONALE FOR THE OFFENSE WAS REPEATED IN 1974 BY AN APPELLATE COURT, EVEN THOUGH THE MEDICAL EVIDENCE FOR GENETIC DAMAGE FROM INCEST IS SLIGHT. THE PROTECTION OFFERED TO CHILDREN BY THE LAW IS REASONABLE, AND INCEST SHOULD BE RETAINED AS A SEPARATE CRIMINAL OFFENSE. HOWEVER, IT SHOULD BE RESTRICTED TO THE RELATIONSHIPS OF FATHER AND DAUGHTER, GRANDFATHER AND GRANDDAUGHTER, AND BROTHER AND SISTER WHERE EITHER BROTHER OR SISTER IS UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGE. FOOTNOTES ARE PROVIDED. (RCB)
Index Term(s): Crime Statistics; England; Incest; Laws and Statutes; Sentencing/Sanctions; Wales
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=62900

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.