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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 99702 Find in a Library
Title: Law of Rape and Criminal Law Administration With Special Reference to the Commonwealth Caribbean
Journal: International and Comparative Law Quarterly  Volume:32  Dated:(1983)  Pages:832-870
Author(s): P K Menon
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 39
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This comparative analysis of rape laws examines the development of such laws, definitional and evidentiary concerns and problems, and specific provisions of these laws in the United Kingdom, the United States, and the 17 islands comprising the Commonwealth Caribbean.
Abstract: Under common law that provides the foundation for these jurisdictions, rape is defined as unlawful carnal knowledge of a woman by force and without her consent. Consequently, jurisprudence has focused on the definitions and evidence constituting victim consent, the use of force, the relationship (particularly marital) between the victim and offender, and sexual penetration. In determining whether a rape has been committed, police may rely on the promptness of the complaint and the complainant's physical condition, prior behavior, actions during the offense, and reputation of chastity. Similarly, in the courts, an emphasis on victim credibility and requirements of corroborative evidence in a crime that usually takes place without witnesses may substantially favor the defendant. The handling of rape cases, stigmatization of the victim, notions of victim crime precipitation, and the possibility of fraudulent accusations have contributed to underreporting of rape by victims and difficulty in obtaining convictions. It is suggested that reform is needed, not so much in rape laws, but in societal attitudes toward rape and its victims. Included are 230 footnotes.
Index Term(s): Circumstantial evidence; Common law; Comparative law; Rape; Rape investigations; Sexual assault victims; United Kingdom (UK); United States of America; Victim crime precipitation; Victim-offender relationships; West Indies; Witness credibility
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