Consensus and Conflict Theory Approaches to Combat Sexual Assault

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Sexual Assault
The impact of sexual assault and rape is devastating to our community and culture. This terrible crime has been around for longer than records have been kept. Throughout world history, the primary targets of these crimes have been women but not exclusively limited to women. Sexual related crimes are crimes of power rather than crimes of passion or lust. These are crimes of ignorance that continue because it is tolerated by both man and society.

First, we as a society have to continue to bring attention this on-going problem. Consensus Theorists apply focus on government agency lead education programs, treatment and services provided to victims (Macy, 2009). One of the education programs to educate society about on-going problem is the Sexual Assault Awareness Month (Macy, 2009). Sexual Assault Awareness Month was first observed in 2001 (Macy, 2009). In 2009, President Obama became the first United States President to proclaim April as Sexual Assault Awareness month (Macy, 2009). This is an annual campaign, held every April, to raise public awareness about sexual assault and to educate communities and individuals on how to prevent sexual violence (Macy, 2009). This annual campaign is coordinated by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center with the assistance from sexual assault awareness and prevention programs and organizations across the United States (Macy, 2009). Many organizations have a role in drawing attention to this national campaign. Those organizations range from state and local agencies to crisis centers, private businesses, campuses and even individuals. Some of the topics of discussion are how sexual violence affects public health, human rights, social issues and prevention efforts (Macy, 2009). This campaign has been a great tool used nationwide to spread the word about sexual violence and prevention of sexual violence. This campaign has to spread its wings and find its way into the community. The annual campaign does a lot to get publicity on this issue, but this needs to become an everyday community issue.

Within our communities, there are measures that can be taken to significantly reduce crime in general, but especially sex crimes. Conflict theorists see sex crimes as crimes of opportunity that are preventable if society takes the necessary steps (Sociology Guide.com, 2011). These violent acts depend on perpetrators catching victims alone or in vulnerable situations (Roberts, 1995). Conflict theorists focus on community involvement and education as the primary means to combat these crimes (Sociology Guide.com, 2011). Society, not police or government agencies, is the key to fighting sexual violence (Roberts, 1995). Community awareness is the first step in keeping this type of sexual violence out our neighborhoods. This starts with community leaders speaking out and educating the public on the potential of sexual violence and indentifying the vulnerabilities within the community (Turchik, 2007). Another method society has at its disposal is the community policing initiative (Turchik, 2007). Establishing community watches, reporting streetlights that are burned out, reporting suspicious activities and people and establishing safe areas in neighborhood stores for people to go to if they feel they are in danger are all ways for society to fight back (Turchik, 2007). Identifying and being aware of potential offenders, registered sex offenders, paroled convicts living in the area and watching out for suspected criminal activity are all great community initiatives (Turchik, 2007).

In the conflict theorist’s method, along with educating the public, society has to make more of an effort to educate the primary victims of sexual violence (Sociology Guide.com, 2011). Women need to be aware of the lurking dangers that may be around each corner (Hanson, 1993). Women should not fear living their lives or being in their own neighborhoods, but they should have a...
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