Rape is defined as the sexual penetration either through intercourse or through object with the consent of the person. The term rape is very complicated and controversial because it has affected many women, children and men in the society. The fact that it has affected many people has caused the formation of policies and the rights for the victims. The policies are formulated in order to help the victims move on from the incident or get justice for their rape. According to the researches that have been conducted, it is fair to claim that most rape victims in the world are said to be women. According to most researches that have been conducted, they claim that there are many effects of the rape to the victim. Some examples of the effect are that the victim becomes suicidal, become drug addicts, violent, dissociation, have anxiety attacks, PTSD and pregnancy (Freedman, 2013). This effects ware what are causing people to want the formation of policies that will cater the needs of the rape victims.
Historical development of rape victims’ rights and policies
Rape is something that has been happening throughout history. In looking at the history, it shows that all the nations in the world had their concept of what rape truly was and the measures that could be taken for the rapists. In looking at the ancient Roman Empire, according to their laws, the rape of women was considered to be a crime of assault. It was a rape when the woman who has been abducted by someone forces her into sexual intercourse without the consent of the woman’s guardian. One of the figures in history that formulated a law that caused the persecution of the rapist was Augustus Caesar. The law was called the Lex Lulia de Vi pubica (Freedman, 2013). In the sixth century, there was a law that was enacted by emperor Justinian also continued with the law of persecution of the rapist if found guilty. In the middle ages that is when the policies and laws of the rape victims changed in that some laws such as the codex of Gratian were formulated in order to help in distinguishing the what rape was such sexual intercourse and abduction.
The European nations during the 16th century began to recognize the age of consent for the women. According to this, any woman who was below the age of 12 years was considered to be a minor in that they had no way of consenting to sexual intercourse. The women’s movements were the first to tackle the issue of sexual assault among the women in the society. The women were fighting for their rights because they had seen how little the criminal justice was actually responding to claims of rape by the women. When the women spoke about this issue, the society at that time did not want to talk or listen to the issue about rape. The women saw how the rape victims in the society felt isolated thus ended up committing suicides or completely isolates themselves from the social events.
The women caused many changes in the countries when they caused the government to see how the rape was affecting the people in the society. In the recent years, that is when the policies and laws that were formulated that look at all the aspects of sexual assault. In the 19th century, the rape of a person was regarded only when there was the ejaculation of a man. This ejaculation was what caused the people to agree that a person was raped according to the common laws. When this happened, it was stated that the rape victim could file for persecution of the rapist if they know who they are or where they come from. Spousal rape was considered consensual and that the women could not report the cases. The model penal code was formulated by the United States of America ain order to help the rape victims (Hodgson, 2002). According to the law, it stated that rape occurred when a woman is forced into sexual intercourse by a man who is not her husband. This means the spousal rape of people was not considered to be a criminal offence.
In the United States of America, there have been many policies that have been formulated in order to help the rape victims. In Washington DC and San Francisco are claimed to be the first places where two of the first programs for the victims were located and formed in 1975 (Freedman). In the first program, it concentrated in ensuring that the victims are given special emotional care. The emotional care comes in when the rape victim is given psychological help after the rape. The second program was to ensure that the rape victim is able to find a way to move on from the pain they experienced. The victim activism was formulated in the 1970s where the victims were able to have their own forum where they would be able to talk openly about their problems and trauma that they experienced (Hodgson, 2002). In this modern society, the number of rape cases has increased significantly in many countries. The increase of the sexual assault cases has caused an alarm for the government, society and the politicians. This has caused the political leaders to go for a summit with other leaders from different countries.
The main purpose for this summit is so that they can be able to know on the different ways to help curb the rate of rape. In the summits, the political leaders discuss on what exactly would lead to help sop the rape crisis. According to a survey that was conducted in 2012, it shows that the number of the rape victims in the society becomes higher because in the modern world the women, children, young men and old women are the ones who are being raped (Freedman, 2013). The survey also shows that there have been cases where police officers have raped the detainees. In prisons, the prisoners have had many claims of sexual abuse by the inmates. This has caused the government in the United States of America to start the office for the psychology department. This program is very useful for the inmate’s victims. In this psychology sessions the rape victims are able to talk about their ordeal and thus might be able to come up with that will make them deal with their problem.
False rape reports
There have been a number of false rape reports by women. Some women are claimed to want revenge or try to hurt someone by claiming they were raped. The reason for stating this is that the people whom they hate will be sentenced for crimes they did not commit. These false statements have caused many women who have been raped not to be heard because the police officers might not believe them. There are some policies and laws that have passed that could cause a woman who has falsely accused someone of rape to be convicted. An example of a way that has caused the reduction of false reports of rape is that the government has formulated the rape kit analysis of the victims (Brownmiller, 1993).
This rape kit analysis might show any vaginal intercourse has taken place and maybe the rapist would have left some DNA behind. The government stated this in 1990s. The victim is also set up with a psychologist in order to explain their ordeals and find some little closure. In the psychological analysis, there are some things that make the psychologist or therapist to know whether the person is telling the truth or not. According to most indications of a rape victim, there are many things that they do that make people know that they have been violated. The women tend to stick to themselves, fear any man from touching them and become jumpy whenever there hear any man with the same voice as their rapist. When they are talking about their ordeal some women, tend to sob a lot before saying anything while there are those who show no emotion while talking about it.
Children who are rape victims
Children are very important beings in the society. This is because they signify the future of tomorrow. There are some children whose lives have been changed by things that are out of their control such as rape. Children have always trusted people close to them especially relatives or family friends. The number of children who have been reported to being rape or sexually assaulted has gone high. This causes a lot of worry for the people in the society. This has caused many politicians to speak out about it. This has caused the congress of the United States of America to formulate laws or policies that will cater to the problems of children who have been sexually assaulted (Smothers, 2011, p.709). The community is referring to the child rapists as the paedophiles. The child rapists are claimed to be one of the most hated people in the society.
Anyone who has been claimed to be child rapist have been singled out by the people and shunned by them. The children who have been raped are supposed to be given psychological help. If they are little children, they might not know what is happening but they will know that something is not right. When the children are not given any psychological help, they might end up growing up repressing their ordeal. However, once they remember they will have a hard time fitting in the community. There have been claims of people who have committed suicide after they realized that as children they were sexually assaulted. According to the American laws, the sexual predators that have been charged have had to register themselves as sexual predators (Smothers, 2011, p.711). This makes it easy for people in the society to know if there is a rapist in the area. This is a way to warn people of the dangers that might be on the street for their children.
Men who are raped
In the modern world, there have been many claims of men who have been raped by other men. According to history the men who were raped was only because of war reasons. In this modern world, the rape of men by other men is just plain malice. This is the reason why there are many programs that have been formulated for men seek help. It is a fact that many men who have been raped do not report their ordeal due to the fact they are afraid of been isolated by other men or to be called gay (King & Mezey, 2000). The programs are supposed to help the men to see that what happened to them was not something shameful instead; it was a coward act by the other person. The men should also seek psychological help to help them cope with their trauma.
In conclusion, there have been many cases of rape by victims for years even during the ancient times. The Roman Empire was among to formulate laws against rape or forced sexual intercourse. Most of the victims of sexual assaults have been women, children and the elderly people. In the recent years, the men have also started to come out and speak up about their rape ordeals. In the 20th century, that is when the world began to formulate laws and policies for the rape victims. These policies were meant to help the victim to have justice and get psychological help.
Brownmiller, S. (1993). Against our will: men, women and rape. Fawcett Columbine.
Freedman, E. (2013). Redefining Rape: Sexual Violence in the Era of Suffrage and Segregation. Harvard University Press.
Hodgson, J. F. (2002). Sexual Violence: Policies, Practices, and Challenges in the United States and Canada. Greenwood Publishing Group.
King, M., & Mezey, G. (2000). Male victims of sexual assault. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Smothers, M. K. (2011). A Sexual Assault Primary Prevention Model with Diverse Urban Youth. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 708-727.