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R**e is a type of s*xual assault usually involving s*xual in*******se or other forms of s*xual pe*******on initiated against one or more individuals without the consent of those individuals. The act may be carried out by physical force, coercion, abuse of authority or against a person who is incapable of valid consent, such as one who is unconscious, incapacitated, or below the legal age of consent. The term r**e is sometimes used interchangeably with the term s*xual assault.
The rate of reporting, prosecuting and convicting for r**e varies considerably in different jurisdictions. Internationally, the incidence of r**es recorded by the police during 2010 varied between 0.2 in Azerbaijan per 100,000 people and 92.9 per 100,000 people in Botswana with 6.3 per 100,000 people in Lithuania as the median. According to the American Medical Association (1995), s*xual violence, and r**e in particular, is considered the most underreported violent crime. R**e by strangers is usually less common than r**e by persons the victim knows, and several studies argue that male-on-male and female-on-female prison r**es are common and may be the least reported forms of r**e.
When part of a widespread and systematic practice during international conflict, r**e and s*xual slavery are recognized as crimes against humanity and war crimes. R**e is also recognized as an element of the crime of genocide when committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a targeted ethnic group.
People who have been r**ed can be severely traumatized and may suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder; in addition to psychological harm resulting from the act, r**e may cause physical injury, or have additional effects on the victims, such as the acquiring of s*xually transmitted infections or becoming pregnant. Furthermore, following a r**e, a victim may face violence or threats thereof from the ra**st, and, in some cultures, from the victim's own family and relatives.
Etymology of term
The term r**e originates in the Latin r**ere (supine stem raptum), "to sn**ch, to grab, to carry off". Since the 14th century, the term has come to mean "to seize and take away by force". In Roman law the carrying off of a woman by force, with or without in*******se, constituted "raptus". In Medieval English law the same term could refer to either kidnapping or r**e in the modern sense of "s*xual violation". The original meaning of "carry off by force" is still found in some phrases, such as "r**e and pillage" or in titles, such as the story of the R**e of the Sabine Women or the poem The R**e of the Lock, which is about the theft of a lock of hair.
The term r**e is most often defined in criminal law. There are several types of r**e, generally categorized by reference to the situation in which it occurs, the s*x or characteristics of the victim, and/or the s*x or characteristics of the perpetrator. Different types of r**e include date r**e, gang r**e, marital r**e, incestual r**e, child s*xual abuse, prison r**e, acquaintance r**e, war r**e and statutory r**e.
Penetrative and non-penetrative
The definition of r**e varies both in different parts of the world and at different times in history. It is defined in many jurisdictions as s*xual in*******se, or other forms of s*xual pe*******on, initiated by a person against another person without the consent of that person. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime defines it as "s*xual in*******se without valid consent," and the World Health Organization defined it in 2002 as "physically forced or otherwise coerced pe*******on – even if slight – of the v***a or a**s, using a p***s, other body parts or an object".
The elements that form the definition of r**e under the ICC Statute are that:
"The perpetrator invaded the body of a person by conduct resulting in pe*******on, however slight, of any part of the body of the victim or of the perpetrator with a s*xual organ, or of the a**l or ge***al opening of the victim with any object or any other part of the body."
"The invasion was committed by force, or by threat of force or coercion, such as that caused by fear of violence, duress, detention, psychological oppression or abuse of power, against such person or another person, or by taking advantage of a coercive environment, or the invasion was committed against a person incapable of giving genuine consent."
In 2012, the FBI changed their definition from "The carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will." to "The pe*******on, no matter how slight, of the va**na or a**s with any body part or object, or oral pe*******on by a s*x organ of another person, without the consent of the victim." for their annual Uniform Crime Reports. The definition, which had remained unchanged since 1927, was considered outdated and narrow. The updated definition includes any gender of victim and perpetrator, not just women being r**ed by men, recognizes that r**e with an object can be as traumatic as pe**le/va**nal r**e, includes instances in which the victim is unable to give consent because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity, and recognizes that a victim can be incapacitated and thus unable to consent because of ingestion of drugs or alcohol. The definition does not change federal or state criminal codes or impact charging and prosecution on the federal, state or local level; it rather means that r**e will be more accurately reported nationwide.
Some countries, such as Germany, are now using more inclusive definitions which do not require pe*******on, and the 1998 International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda defines it as "a physical invasion of a s*xual nature committed on a person under circumstances which are coercive". In some jurisdictions, the term r**e has been phased out of legal use in favor of terms such as s*xual assault or criminal s*xual conduct. Many other countries or jurisdictions continue to define r**e to cover only acts involving pe**le pe*******on of the va**na, treating all other types of non-consensual s*xual activity as s*xual assault. Scotland is among the countries that emphasizes pe**le pe*******on, requiring that the s*xual assault must have been committed by use of a p***s to qualify as r**e.
In any allegation of r**e, the absence of consent to s*xual in*******se on the part of the victim is critical. Consent need not be expressed, and may be implied from the context and from the relationship of the parties, but the absence of objection does not of itself constitute consent. Lack of consent may result from either forcible compulsion by the perpetrator or an incapacity to consent on the part of the victim (such as persons who are asleep, intoxicated or otherwise mentally helpless). The law can also invalidate consent in the case of s*xual in*******se with a person below the age at which they are deemed legally competent to consent to such relations with older persons. (See age of consent.) Such cases are sometimes called statutory r**e or "unlawful s*xual in*******se". Consent may also be negated if an individual agrees to have s*x only on certain terms that are then purposely ignored by the partner, as in the case of a man who deliberately ej******es in a woman's va**na although she consented to s*x only on the clear understanding that he would not do so. Consent can always be withdrawn at any time, so that any further s*xual activity after the withdrawal of consent constitutes r**e.
Duress, in which the victim may be subject to or threatened by overwhelming force or violence, and which may result in absence of objection to in*******se, leads to the presumption of lack of consent. Duress may be actual or threatened force or violence against the victim or somebody else close to the victim. Even blackmail may constitute duress. Abuse of power may constitute duress. For instance, in Philippines, a man commits r**e if he engages in s*xual in*******se with a woman "By means of fraudulent machination or grave abuse of authority". The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in its landmark 1998 judgment used a definition of r**e which did not use the word 'consent': "a physical invasion of a s*xual nature committed on a person under circumstances which are coercive."
Marital r**e, also known as spousal r**e, is non-consensual s*x in which the perpetrator is the victim's spouse. As such, it is a form of partner r**e, of domestic violence, and of s*xual abuse. Once widely condoned or ignored by law, spousal r**e is now repudiated by international conventions and increasingly criminalized. Still, in many countries, spousal r**e either remains legal, or is illegal but widely tolerated and accepted as a husband's prerogative. In 2006, the UN Secretary-General's In-depth study on all forms of violence against women stated that (pg 113): "Marital r**e may be prosecuted in at least 104 States. Of these, 32 have made marital r**e a specific criminal offence, while the remaining 74 do not exempt marital r**e from general r**e provisions. Marital r**e is not a prosecutable offence in at least 53 States. Four States criminalize marital r**e only when the spouses are judicially separated. Four States are considering legislation that would allow marital r**e to be prosecuted." Since 2006, several other states have outlawed marital r**e (for example Thailand in 2007). In the US, the criminalization of marital r**e started in the mid-1970s and in 1993 North Carolina became the last state to make marital r**e illegal. In many countries, it is not clear if marital r**e may or may not be prosecuted under ordinary r**e laws. In the absence of a spousal r**e law, it may be possible to bring prosecution for acts of forced s*xual in*******se inside marriage by prosecuting, through the use of other criminal offenses (such as assault based offenses), the acts of violence or criminal threat that were used to attain submission.
Motivation of perpetrators
Further information: Causes of s*xual violence
The World Health Organization (WHO) states that the principal factors that lead to the perpetration of s*xual violence, including r**e, are
beliefs in family honor and s*xual purity;
ideologies of male s*xual entitlement;
weak legal sanctions for s*xual violence.
There is no single scientific theory that conclusively explains the motivation for r**e; the motives of ra**sts can be multi-factorial and are subject to debate. Several factors have been proposed: anger; a desire for power; sa**sm; s*xual gratification in tandem with evolutionary proclivities. American clinical psychologist David Lisak, author of a landmark 2002 study of undetected ra**sts, says that compared with non-ra**sts, both undetected and convicted ra**sts are measurably more angry at women and more motivated by a desire to dominate and control them, are more impulsive, disinhibited, anti-social and hyper-masculine, and less empathic.
See also: Effects and aftermath of r**e and Pregnancy from r**e
Victims of r**e can be severely traumatized by the assault and may have difficulty functioning as well as they had been used to prior to the assault, with disruption of concentration, sleeping patterns and eating habits, for example. They may feel jumpy or be on edge. After being r**ed, it is common for the victim to experience acute stress disorder, including symptoms similar to those of posttraumatic stress disorder, such as intense, sometimes unpredictable emotions, and they may find it hard to deal with their memories of the event. In the months immediately following the assault, these problems may be severe and upsetting and may prevent the victim from revealing their ordeal to friends or family, or seeking police or medical assistance. Additional symptoms of Acute Stress Disorder include:
Depersonalization or dissociation (feeling numb and detached, like being in a daze or a dream, or feeling that the world is strange and unreal)
Difficulty remembering important parts of the assault
Reliving the assault through repeated thoughts, memories, or nightmares
Avoidance of things, places, thoughts, and/or feelings that remind the victim of the assault
Anxiety or increased alertness (difficulty sleeping, concentrating, etc.)
Avoidance of social life or place of r**e
For one-third to one-half of the victims, these symptoms continue beyond the first few months and meet the conditions for the diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder. In general, r**e and s*xual assault are among the most common causes of PTSD in women.
Pregnancy can also result from r**e.
Main article: Virgin cleansing myth
A street sign in South Africa, appealing to men not to r**e children in the belief that it will cure them of HIV/AIDS.
R**e may result in the transmission of HIV/AIDS, and this is especially a problem in parts of the world where the disease is endemic, such as Sub-Saharan Africa. The extent of the problem is disputed. In 2005, some aid industry organizations stated that around 60% of combatants in the Second Congo War were HIV-infected, and that the disease was being spread by systematic r**e perpetrated by these soldiers. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo Demographic and Health Survey (EDS-RDC) in 2007, 1.3 percent of the population age 15–49 years is HIV-positive. The prevalence is 1.6 percent for women and 0.9 percent for men.
R**e acts both as a direct factor, as the virus can be transmitted through the forced s*xual in*******se, and as an indirect factor, as victims of r**e are at higher risk of suffering psychological problems, which may lead to victims being more likely to engage in behaviors that create risk of contracting HIV/AIDS, such as injecting drugs.
In parts of Africa, there is a myth that s*x with a virgin can cure HIV/AIDS; as such, girls and women are r**ed because of it. It is not known how common the myth is and to what degree r**es happen because of the belief in it. The claim that the myth drives either HIV infection or child s*xual abuse in South Africa is disputed by researchers Rachel Jewkes and Helen Epstein.
Main article: Victim blaming
"Victim blaming" is holding the victim of a crime to be in whole or in part responsible for the crime. In the context of r**e, this concept refers to the just world fallacy and attitudes that certain victim behaviours (such as flirting or wearing s*xually provocative clothing) may encourage r**e. In extreme cases, victims are said to have "asked for it" by not behaving demurely. In most Western countries, the defense of provocation is not accepted as a mitigation for r**e. A global survey of attitudes toward s*xual violence by the Global Forum for Health Research shows that victim-blaming concepts are at least partially accepted in many countries. Women who have been r**ed are sometimes deemed to have behaved improperly. Often, these are countries where there is a significant social divide between the freedoms and status afforded to men and women. Amy M. Buddie and Arthur G. Miller, in a review of studies of r**e myths, state:
R**e victims are blamed more when they resist the attack later in the r**e encounter rather than earlier (Kopper, 1996), which seems to suggest the stereotype that these women are engaging in token resistance (Malamuth & Brown, 1994; Muehlenhard & Rogers, 1998) or leading the man on because they have gone along with the s*xual experience thus far. Finally, r**e victims are blamed more when they are r**ed by an acquaintance or a date rather than by a stranger (e.g., Bell, Kuriloff, & Lottes, 1994; Bridges, 1991; Bridges & McGr ail, 1989; Check & Malamuth, 1983; Kanekar, Shaherwalla, Franco, Kunju, & Pinto, 1991; L'Armand & Pepitone, 1982; Tetreault & Barnett, 1987), which seems to evoke the stereotype that victims really want to have s*x because they know their attacker and perhaps even went out on a date with him. The underlying message of this research seems to be that when certain stereotypical elements of r**e are in place, r**e victims are prone to being blamed.
They also state that "individuals may endorse r**e myths and at the same time recognize the negative effects of r**e." A number of gender role stereotypes can play a role in rationalization of r**e. In the case of male-on-female r**e, these include the idea that power is reserved to men whereas women are meant for s*x and objectified, that women want forced s*x and to be pushed around, and that male s*xual impulses and behaviors are uncontrollable and must be satisfied. In the case of female-on-male r**e, the victim may either be perceived as weak or, in cultures where men acquire status by s*xual conquest, as fortunate.
It has been proposed by Dr. Roxanne Agnew-Davies, a clinical psychologist and an expert on the effects of s*xual violence, that victim-blaming correlates with fear. "It is not surprising when so many r**e victims blame themselves. Female jurors can look at the woman in the witness stand and decide she has done something 'wrong' such as flirting or having a drink with the defendant. She can therefore reassure herself that r**e won't happen to her as long as she does nothing similar."
Honor killings and forced marriages
In many cultures, those who are r**ed are at very high risk of suffering additional violence or threats of violence after the r**e. These acts may be perpetrated by the ra**st or by friends and relatives of the ra**st, as a way of preventing the victims from reporting the r**e, of punishing them for reporting it, or of forcing them to withdraw the complaint; or they may be perpetrated by the relatives of the victim as a punishment for "bringing shame" to the family. This is especially the case in cultures where female virginity is highly valued and considered mandatory before marriage; in extreme cases, r**e victims are killed in honor killings.
In some places, girls and women who are r**ed are often forced by their families to marry their ra**st. Because being the victim of r**e and losing virginity carry extreme social stigma, and the victims are deemed to have their "reputation" tarnished, a marriage with the ra**st is arranged. This is claimed to be in the advantage of both the victim - who does not remain unmarried and doesn't lose social status - and of the ra**st, who avoids punishment. In 2012, the su***de of a 16-year-old Moroccan girl - who, after having been forced by her family to marry her ra**st at the suggestion of the prosecutor, and who subsequently endured abuse by the ra**st after they married - sparked protests from activists against the law which allows the ra**st to marry the victim in order to escape criminal sanctions, and against this social practice which is common in Morocco.
While penetrative r**e generally does not involve the use of a condom, in some cases a condom is used. This significantly reduces the likelihood of pregnancy and disease transmission, both to the victim and to the ra**st. Rationales for condom use include: avoiding contracting diseases (particularly HIV), particularly in cases of r**e of s*x workers or in gang r**e (to avoid contracting diseases from fellow ra**sts); eliminating evidence, making prosecution more difficult (and giving a sense of invulnerability); giving the appearance of consent (in cases of acquaintance r**e); and thrill from planning and the use of the condom as an added prop. Concern for the victim is generally not considered a factor.
People in Bangalore, India demanding justice for young student who was gang-r**ed in Delhi in December 2012
S*xual violence, and r**e in particular, is considered the most under-reported violent crime (American Medical Association, 1995). Thus, the number of reported r**es is lower than both incidence and prevalence rates (Walby and Allen, 2004). The legal requirements for reporting r**e vary by jurisdiction — each U.S. state may have different requirements while other countries may have less stringent limits.
In Italy, a 2006 National Statistic Institute survey on violence against women found that 91.6% of women who experienced r**e did not report it to the police.
Since the vast majority of r**es are committed by persons known to the victim, the initiation and process of a r**e investigation depends much on the victim's willingness and ability to report and describe a r**e. Biological evidence such as semen, blood, va**nal secretions, saliva, and va**nal epithelial cells (typically collected by a r**e kit) may be identified and genetically typed by a crime lab. The information derived from the a**lysis can often help determine whether s*xual contact occurred, provide information regarding the circumstances of the incident, and be compared to reference samples collected from patients and suspects.
In the United Kingdom, figures on reported r**e cases show an ongoing decline in the conviction rate, putting it at an all time low of 5.6% in 2002. The government has expressed its concern at the year-on-year increase in attrition of reported r**e cases, and pledged to address this "justice gap" (Home Office, 2002a). In 2003, a study by R**e Crisis Network Europe found that Ireland had the lowest rate of conviction for r**e (1%) among 21 European states.
Prevention and treatment
Initiatives to prevent s*xual violence
As s*xual violence affects all parts of society, the response to s*xual violence is comprehensive. The responses can be categorized as: individual approaches, health care responses, community-based efforts and actions to prevent other forms of s*xual violence. Recovery from s*xual assault is a complicated and controversial concept, but support groups, usually accessed by "umbrella" organizations (see List of anti-s*xual assault organizations in the United States) are prevalent, including some on-line.
S*xual assault may be prevented by secondary school, college, and workplace education programs. At least one program for fraternity men produced "sustained behavioral change."
Estimates of s*xual violence
UNODC : Reported r**e per 100,000 population (2011)
More than 250,000 cases of r**e or attempted r**e were recorded by police annually in 65 countries in 2011.
In 2007, 40% of the 90,427 forcible r**es reported were cleared by arrest or "exceptional means." Exceptional means refers to situations where the person refuses to provide information or assistance necessary to obtain an arrest, the defendant dies before being arrested, or the defendant cannot be extradited from another state.
Most r**e research and reporting to date has been limited to male-female forms of r**e. Research on male-male and female-male r**e is beginning to be done. According to psychologist Dr. Sarah Crome, fewer than one in ten male-male r**es are reported. As a group, males who have been r**ed by either gender often get little services and support, and legal systems are often ill equipped to deal with this type of crime. Denov (2004) states that societal responses to the issue of female perpetrators of s*xual assault "point to a widespread denial of women as potential s*xual aggressors that could work to obscure the true dimensions of the problem." Due to these reasons, it is likely being substantially under-reported, with the probable cause being the double standard. Some legal codes on r**e do not legislate against women ra**ng men, as r**e is generally defined to include the act of pe*******on on behalf of the ra**st. In 2007, the South Africa police investigated instances of women ra**ng young men. Little research has been done on female-female r**e.
The humanitarian news organization IRIN claims that an estimated "500,000 r**es are committed annually in South Africa", once called ‘the world’s r**e capital.’ The country has some of the highest incidences of child and baby r**e in the world with more than 67,000 cases of r**e and s*xual assaults against children reported in 2000, with welfare groups believing that unreported incidents could be up to 10 times higher.
False accusation of r**e
The largest and most rigorous study was commissioned by the British Home Office and based on 2,643 s*xual assault cases (Kelly, Lovett, and Regan, 2005). Of these, 8% were classified by the police department as false reports. The researchers noted that some of these classifications were based simply on the personal judgments of the police investigators and were made in violation of official criteria for establishing a false allegation. Closer a**lysis of this category applying the Home Office counting rules for establishing a false allegation and excluding cases where the application of the cases where confirmation of the designation was uncertain reduced the percentage of false reports to 3%. The researchers concluded that "one cannot take all police designations at face value" and that "[t]here is an over-estimation of the scale of false allegations by both police officers and prosecutors." Moreover, they added:
The interviews with police officers and complainants’ responses show that despite the focus on victim care, a culture of suspicion remains within the police, even amongst some of those who are specialists in r**e investigations. There is also a tendency to conflate false allegations with retractions and withdrawals, as if in all such cases no s*xual assault occurred. This reproduces an investigative culture in which elements that might permit a designation of a false complaint are emphasized (later sections reveal how this also feeds into withdrawals and designation of 'insufficient evidence'), at the expense of a careful investigation, in which the evidence collected is evaluated.
Another large-scale study was conducted in Australia, with the 850 r**es reported to the Victoria police between 2000 and 2003 (Heenan & Murray, 2006). Using both quantitative and qualitative methods, the researchers examined 812 cases with sufficient information to make an appropriate determination, and found that 2.1% of these were classified by police as false reports. All of these complainants were then charged or threatened with charges for filing a false police report.
FBI reports consistently put the number of "unfounded" r**e accusations around 8%. The unfounded rate is higher for forcible r**e than for any other Index crime. The average rate of unfounded reports for Index crimes is 2%. “Unfounded” is not synonymous with false allegation and as Bruce Gross of the Forensic Examiner explains,
This statistic is almost meaningless, as many of the jurisdictions from which the FBI collects data on crime use different definitions of, or criteria for, "unfounded." That is, a report of r**e might be classified as unfounded (rather than as forcible r**e) if the alleged victim did not try to fight off the suspect, if the alleged perpetrator did not use physical force or a weapon of some sort, if the alleged victim did not sustain any physical injuries, or if the alleged victim and the accused had a prior s*xual relationship. Similarly, a report might be deemed unfounded if there is no physical evidence or too many inconsistencies between the accuser's statement and what evidence does exist. As such, although some unfounded cases of r**e may be false or fabricated, not all unfounded cases are false.
Other studies have suggested that the rate of false allegations in America may be much higher. A nine-year study of a small metropolitan area in the Midwestern United States found that 41% of r**e accusations were false. A report by the National Institute of Justice found that DNA evidence excluded the primary suspect in 26% of r**e cases and concluded that this "strongly suggests that postarrest and postconviction DNA exonerations are tied to some strong, underlying systemic problems that generate erroneous accusations and convictions."
As part of a six month long investigative study done in India, around 600 cases were a**lysed in detail and found that in around 20% cases the complainant did not appear or turned hostile, with around 40% dealing with consensual s*x and later the girl's parents accused the boy of r**e. Around 25% cases dealt with consensual s*x and “breach of promise to marry” later. Only 12 cases out of the 600 involved strangers which tend to be opportunistic crimes in which a man or group of men prey on a vulnerable woman. Citing this data of over 85% false cases of r**e in India, Shonee Kapoor of Sahodar Trust, a legal aid agency for distressed men, demanded that the name of the accused should not be made public till conviction. CBI, India's premier Investigative agency, stated that it will not file chargesheet in Badaun R**e case against the five accused persons. The decision of CBI is based on the report from the medical board concluding that s*xual assault on both the girls "looked unlikely."
History of r**e
Definitions and evolution of laws
The Bulgarian martyresses, a painting depicting the r**e of Bulgarian women by Ottoman troops during the April Uprising of 1876.
The word r**e itself originates from the Latin verb r**ere: to seize or take by force. The word originally had no s*xual connotation and is still used generically in English. The history of r**e, and the alterations of its meaning, is complex. In Roman law, r**e, or raptus was classified as a form of crimen vis, "crime of assault." The concept of raptus was applied to the abduction of a woman against the will of the man under whose authority she lived, and s*xual in*******se was not a necessary element. Like theft or robbery, r**e was originally considered a "private wrong" iniuria privita, a crime between the abductor and the legal guardian of the woman in question.
It was made into a "public wrong" (iniuria publica) by the Roman Emperor Constantine.
Augustus Caesar enacted reforms for the crime of r**e under the assault statute Lex Iulia de vi publica, which bears his family name, Iulia. It was under this statute rather than the adultery statute of Lex Iulia de adulteriis that Rome prosecuted this crime. Emperor Justinian confirmed the continued use of the statute to prosecute r**e during the 6th century in the Eastern Roman Empire. By late antiquity, the general term raptus had referred to abduction, elopement, robbery, or r**e in its modern meaning. Confusion over the term led ecclesial commentators on the law to differentiate it into raptus seductionis (elopement without parental consent) and raptus violentiae (ravishment). Both of these forms of raptus had a civil penalty and possible excommunication for the family and village receiving the abducted woman, although raptus violentiae also incurred punishments of mutilation or death.
The legal view of the concept of r**e began changing gradually in the late Middle Ages. 12th century Codex of Gratian clearly distinguished between abduction and r**e, and considered forced s*xual in*******se a necessary element. By the mid-1500s, European courts began recognizing the concept of age of consent, namely, that minors under a certain age, such as 12, would be incapable of consenting to in*******se.
Virtually all societies have had a concept of the crime of r**e. Although what constituted this crime has varied by historical period and culture, until quite recently, the definitions tended to focus around an act of forced va**nal in*******se perpetrated through physical violence or imminent threat of death or severe bodily injury, by a man, on a woman or a girl, not his wife. These definitions differ significantly from the modern definitions of r**e in Western countries today. For example, the actus reus of the crime, was, in most societies, the insertion of the p***s into the va**na, and, until the 19th century, many jurisdictions required ej*******on for the act to constitute the offense of r**e. Acts other than va**nal in*******se did not constitute r**e in common law countries and in many other societies. In many cultures, such acts were illegal, even if they were consensual and performed between married couples (see so**my laws). In England, for example, the Buggery Act 1533, which remained in force until 1828, provided for the death penalty for "buggery". Today, in many countries, the definition of the actus reus has been extended to all forms of pe*******on of the va**na and a**s (e.g. pe*******on with objects, fingers or other body parts) as well as insertion of the p***s in the mouth. Throughout much of the history, r**e was a crime that could only be perpetrated by a male on a female. The way s*xuality was conceptualized in many societies rejected the very notion that a woman could force a man into s*x - women were often seen as passive while men were deemed to be assertive and aggressive. S*xual pe*******on of a male by another male fell under the legal domain of "so**my".
One of the most distinctive feature of r**e historically was the fact that not all incidents of forced in*******se constituted this crime. An incident could be excluded from the definition of r**e due to the relation between the parties, such as marriage (until a few decades ago wives were nearly universally excluded, and in many countries they continue to be so) or due to the background of the victim (in many cultures forced s*x on pr******te, slave, war enemy, member of a racial minority, etc., was not r**e). For instance, in 17th century Scandinavia, Christian V's law of 1687 stipulated that r**e could only be committed on three categories of women: somebody else's wife, a widow, or an honest virgin. Women who did not fit in any of these categories were not considered legal victims of the crime of r**e.
American radio host, author, and political commentator Thom Hartmann has asserted that, during the colonization of the Americas, the r**e of native women was not held to be a crime under Spanish Law as the persons in question were pagan and not Christian. In 1814, Swiss explorer Johann Burckhardt wrote of his travels in Egypt and Nubia, where he saw the practice of slave trading: "I frequently witnessed scenes of the most shameless indecency, which the traders, who were the principal actors, only laughed at. I may venture to state, that very few female slaves who have passed their tenth year, reach Egypt or Arabia in a state of virginity."
R**e historically was understood as a very violent attack, the victim had to offer the utmost resistance; threats of violence, if accepted, had to be of a very severe nature. Other forms of non consensual in*******se, such as s*x with a victim who cannot defend herself, various forms of threats other than the most extreme threats of violence (even these were often not accepted by themselves in absence of physical resistance of the victim), or other forms of coercion or exploitation were not considered r**e, and most often were not covered by other laws either (although the traditional crime of seduction could be applied in some circumstances, provided the victim was of "good morals").
In the United States, the 1962 Model Penal Code defined r**e as follows: "A male who has s*xual in*******se with a female not his wife is guilty of r**e if:(a) he compels her to submit by force or by threat of imminent death, serious bodily injury, extreme pain or kidnapping, to be inflicted on anyone; or (b) he has substantially impaired her power to appraise or control her conduct by administering or employing without her knowledge drugs, intoxicants or other means for the purpose of preventing resistance; or (c) the female is unconscious; or (d) the female is less than 10 years old." R**e was classified as a felony in the second degree. If aggravated circumstances existed, which were defined as either inflicting serious bodily injury upon anyone, or when the victim was not a voluntary social companion of the actor upon the occasion of the crime and had not previously permitted him s*xual liberties, then r**e was a felony in the first degree.
Social views and constructs
In ancient history, r**e was viewed less as a type of assault on the female, than a serious property crime against the man to whom she belonged, typically the father or husband. The loss of virginity was an especially serious matter. The damage due to loss of virginity was reflected in her reduced prospects in finding a husband and in her bride price. This was especially true in the case of betrothed virgins, as the loss of chastity was perceived as severely depreciating her value to a prospective husband. In such cases, the law would void the betrothal and demand financial compensation from the ra**st, payable to the woman's household, whose "goods" were "damaged". Under biblical law, the ra**st might be compelled to marry the unmarried woman instead of receiving the civil penalty if her father agreed. This was especially prevalent in laws where the crime of r**e did not include, as a necessary element, the violation of the woman's body, thus dividing the crime in the current meaning of r**e and a means for a man and woman to force their families to permit marriage. (See Deuteronomy 22:28–29.)
From the classical antiquity of Greece and Rome into the Colonial period, r**e along with arson, treason and murder was a capital offense. "Those committing r**e were subject to a wide range of capital punishments that were seemingly brutal, frequently bloody, and at times spectacular." In the 12th century, kinsmen of the victim were given the option of executing the punishment themselves. "In England in the early fourteenth century, a victim of r**e might be expected to gouge out the eyes and/or sever the offender's testicles herself." Despite the harshness of these laws, actual punishments were usually far less severe: in late Medieval Europe, cases concerning r**es of marriageable women, wives, widows, or members of the lower class were rarely brought forward, and usually ended with only a small monetary fine or a marriage between the victim and the ra**st. In the 15 and 16th centuries, r**e in the Basque charters (Enkarterri, Durangaldea) was punished with death for the offender and the person who was helping him.
Adult women were often extremely reluctant to bring up charges of r**e: public admission of having been r**ed was severely damaging to one's social standing, courts tended to be skeptical of the charges, conviction rates were low, and, in the event that the accusation could not be proved, the victim could then be accused of committing adultery with the ra**st (traditionally a serious offense that could have been punished by mutilation or even death). Certain classes of women, such as pr******tes, were banned from raising accusations of r**e altogether.
The ius primae noctis ("law of the first night") is a term now popularly used to describe an alleged legal right allowing the lord of an estate to take the virginity of his serfs' maiden daughters. Little or no historical evidence has been unearthed from the Middle Ages to support the idea that such a right ever actually existed.
The medieval theologian Thomas Aquinas argued that r**e, though sinful, was much less sinful than ma********on or coitus interruptus, because it fulfilled the procreative function of s*x, while the other acts violated the purpose of s*x.
In Medieval Europe, a woman could be legally married by her parents to a stranger without her consent, and, once she was married, she could no longer refuse to consent to s*x: the medieval concept of r**e did not allow for the possibility of being r**ed by one's husband. In 1563, the Council of Trent expressly declared that legal Catholic marriages had to be done with consent of both parties, but did not require parental consent, essentially declaring forced marriages invalid. This was not universally accepted: for example, in France, women were not granted the right to marry without parental consent until 1793.
The criminal justice system of many countries was widely regarded as unfair to s*xual assault victims. Both s*xist stereotypes and common law combined to make r**e a "criminal proceeding on which the victim and her behavior were tried rather than the defendant". Additionally, gender neutral laws have combated the older perception that r**e never occurs to men, while other laws have eliminated the term altogether.
Since the 1970s, many changes have occurred in the perception of s*xual assault due in large part to the feminist movement and its public characterization of r**e as a crime of power and control rather than purely of s*x. In some countries the women's liberation movement of the 1970s created the first r**e crisis centers. One of the first two r**e crisis centers, the D.C. R**e Crisis Center, opened in 1972. It was created to promote sensitivity and understanding of r**e and its effects on the victim. In 1960 law enforcement cited false reporting rates at 20%. By 1973 the statistics had dropped to 15%.
In 1998, Judge Navanethem Pillay of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda said:
From time immemorial, r**e has been regarded as spoils of war. Now it will be considered a war crime. We want to send out a strong message that r**e is no longer a trophy of war.
La vuelta del malón (The return of the raiders) by Ángel Della Valle (1892).
R**e, in the course of war, dates back to antiquity, ancient enough to have been mentioned in the Bible. The Israelite, Persian, Greek and Roman armies reportedly engaged in war r**e. The Mongols, who established the Mongol Empire across much of Eurasia, caused much destruction during their invasions. Contemporary documents say that after a conquest, the Mongol soldiers looted, pillaged and r**ed. According to Rogerius of Apulia, a monk who survived the Mongol invasion of Hungary, the Mongol warriors "found pleasure" in humiliating local women.
The systematic r**e of as many as 80,000 women by the Japanese soldiers during the six weeks of the Nanking Massacre is an example of such atrocities. During World War II an estimated 200,000 Korean and Chinese women were forced into prostitution in Japanese military brothels, as so-called "Comfort women". French Moroccan troops known as Goumiers committed r**es and other war crimes after the Battle of Monte Cassino. (See Marocchinate.) French women in Normandy complained about r**es during the liberation of Normandy. Soldiers ra**ng women and girls was common in many areas occupied by the Red Army. A female Soviet war correspondent described what she had witnessed: "The Russian soldiers were ra**ng every German female from eight to eighty. It was an army of ra**sts."
It has been alleged that an estimated 200,000 women were r**ed during the Bangladesh Liberation War by the Pakistani army] (though this has been disputed by Indian academic Sarmila Bose), and that at least 20,000 Bosnian Muslim women were r**ed by Serb forces during the Bosnian War. Wartime propaganda often alleges, and exaggerates, mistreatment of the civilian population by enemy forces and allegations of r**e figure prominently in this. As a result, it is often very difficult, both practically and politically, to assemble an accurate view of what really happened.
A young ethnic Chinese woman who was in one of the Imperial Japanese Army's "comfort battalions" is interviewed by an Allied officer. August 1945, Rangoon, Burma.
Commenting on r**e of children and women in recent African conflict zones, UNICEF said that r**e was no longer just perpetrated by combatants but also by civilians. According to UNICEF, r**e is common in countries affected by wars and natural disasters, drawing a link between the occurrence of s*xual violence with the significant uprooting of a society and the crumbling of social norms. UNICEF states that in Kenya reported cases of s*xual violence doubled within days of post-election conflicts. They state that r**e was prevalent in conflict zones in Sudan, Chad and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is estimated that more than 200,000 women living in the Democratic Republic of the Congo today have been r**ed in recent conflicts. A recent study says more than 400,000 women are r**ed in the DRC annually.
In 1998, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda found that systematic r**e was used in the Rwandan genocide. The Tribunal held that "s*xual assault [in Rwanda] formed an integral part of the process of destroying the Tutsi ethnic group and that the r**e was systematic and had been perpetrated against Tutsi women only, manifesting the specific intent required for those acts to constitute genocide." An estimated 500,000 women were r**ed during the 1994 Rwandan Genocide.
The Rome Statute, which defines the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, recognizes r**e, s*xual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, "or any other form of s*xual violence of comparable gravity" as crime against humanity if the action is part of a widespread or systematic practice.
R**e was first recognized as crime against humanity when the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia issued arrest warrants based on the Geneva Conventions and Violations of the Laws or Customs of War. Specifically, it was recognized that Muslim women in Foča (southeastern Bosnia and Herzegovina) were subjected to systematic and widespread gang r**e, torture and enslavement by Bosnian Serb soldiers, policemen and members of paramilitary groups after the takeover of the city in April 1992. The indictment was of major legal significance and was the first time that s*xual assaults were investigated for the purpose of prosecution under the rubric of torture and enslavement as a crime against humanity. The indictment was confirmed by a 2001 verdict of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia that r**e and s*xual enslavement are crimes against humanity. Amnesty International stated that the ruling challenged the widespread acceptance of the torture of women as an intrinsic part of war.
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