Sexual Assault against Women I choose this topic because sexual assault is one of the most offensive crimes committed in our society. Not only is it a threat to the community, but it has a physically and psychologically effect on the victim in many ways. For the last couple of decades, sexual assault, rape, and child molestation has become the focal point of public concerns today. According to a 1993 National Crime Victimization Survey conducted by the U. S. Department of Justice, about 500,000 rapes or sexual assaults occur each year (Statistics, March 2010).
The Department of Justice states that, “rape crimes have risen nearly three times as fast as the total crime rate”, although other studies have shown statistics that are in conflict with these numbers; due to the victims that do no report their attacks. For example, the National Women’s Study claims that about 683,000 rapes of adult women occur annually, while the Federal Bureau of Investigation reports 103,000 such rapes each year (Statistics, March 2010). Most lawmakers agree that sexual violence is a problem that requires a lot of attention and investigation.
In the mid-1990s, a number of violent crimes were being committed by recently released sex offenders. The media attention motivated many states to pass laws that specify that communities must be notified about paroled sex offender living in their communities. This caused a fear of the people in the community that released sex offenders may commit assaults in their community as well. Alice Walker's The Color Purple is an excellent account of the life of a woman who must suffer not only social ostracism due to gender and skin color but also women who suffer greatly at the hands of men.
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This is true in terms of infidelity, physical and verbal abuse, and sexual abuse. The Color Purple revolves around the life of Celie, a young woman growing up in the poverty-ridden South. In order to find herself and gain independence, Celie must deal with all manner of abuse, including misogyny, racism and poverty. When she is a young girl of just 14, Celie is sexually assaulted by a man she believes is her father. She had two children by her rapist, both of who he takes to a Reverend.
When her mother dies, this man known as "Pa" marries Celie to a man she will only refer to as "Mr. " (Walker, 1985). This is just a fine example of the recollection of a victim. The Violence against Women Act (VAWA) of 1994 marked a turning point in our national response to the problems of both sexual assault and domestic violence. For the first time it considered the ways in which sexual assault and domestic violence were similar: they are both crimes of violence against women, rooted in historical and cultural traditions and attitudes.
VAWA also addressed the ways our laws failed to prosecute and punish perpetrators of these crimes of violence, while often increasing the trauma experienced by victims. The act included measures designed to protect crime victims' rights and provide crime victims with compensation, establish hotlines for sexual assault and family violence victims, establish sex offender registration and community notification, protect women from "date rape," and coordinate law enforcement and social services to deal with crime in a unified manner.
VAWA is a wide-ranging law which, among other things, mandated research into sexual and domestic violence, funded community efforts against sexual and domestic violence through grants, proposed changes in the evaluation and determination of evidence, affirmed victims' rights of privacy and equal protection under the law, recommended compensation of victims, and authorized enhanced penalties for repeat sex offenders. Law enforcement officers are highly trained and are fully aware of this Act and how it works.
It is the duty of the officer to enforce these laws. One intervention method for the offenders that would restore justice practices is the gaining popularity of “chemical castration” which is the use of Depo-Provera; it decreases the level of testosterone that men produce (encyclopedia, 2012). Lowered testosterone levels decreases the sexual thoughts and fantasies of the offender. The way this method would impact the victim is by given them a piece of mind of knowing the offender is being mentored and knowing that this could happen to another person.
The way the Criminal Justice system can work more efficient to help the victim through a rape or sexual assault is not blame the victim; this was a strategy that was used in pasted which would make the victim feel as if it is their fault. For example, the victim goes to a party and becomes overly intoxicated and wakes up to find herself assaulted sexual, in the past the victim would be the blame because she became overly intoxicated.
But what should be done is to encourage women not to precipitate the crime through careless behavior. But blame the offender, because they are the predator in crime and they should be removed from society. As a Criminal Justice professional I would provide more effective assistance to the victim by offering services such as hotline information, victim advocate services, and assist them with police reporting process. Or even offer counseling service and self-defense strategies.
Things that could be done to reduce victim blaming are training within the Criminal Justice system and educating the public on victim blaming as well. ? REFERENCES encyclopedia, T. f. (2012, May 05/31/12). Chemical Castration. Retrieved from Wikipedia: http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Chemical_castration Statistics, U. S. (March 2010). National Crime Victimization Survey. National Crime Victimization Survey, 2008- -Statistical tables, 26 - 49. Walker, A. (1985). The Color Purple. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
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