Rape and Sexual Assault

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Rape and Sexual Assault
Rape is a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse, which is initiated by one or more persons against another person without that person’s consent. The act maybe carried out by force, under threat, or with a person who is incapable with valid consent. The definition of rape varies both in different parts of the world and at different times in history. According to the American Medical Association, sexual violence, and rape in particular, is considered the most under-reported violent crime. When part of a widespread and systematic practice, rape and sexual slavery are recognized as crimes against humanity and war crimes. The rate of reporting, prosecution and convictions for rape varies considerably in different jurisdictions. The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics estimated that 91% of U.S. rape victims are female and 9% are male, with 99% of the offenders being male. In one survey of women, only two percent of respondents who stated they were sexually assaulted said that the assault was perpetrated by a stranger. Several studies argue that male-male and female-female prison rape are quite common and may be the least reported forms of rape. Rape 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. Rape is defined in many jurisdictions as sexual intercourse, or other forms of sexual penetration, of one person by another person without the consent of the victim. The World Health Organization defined rape in 2002 as "physically forced or otherwise coerced penetration even if slight of the vulva or anus, using a penis, other body parts or an object. Some countries such as Germany are now, however, using more inclusive definitions which do not require penetration in the 1998 International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda defines it as "a physical invasion of a sexual nature committed on a person under circumstances which are coercive. In some jurisdictions, the term "rape" has been phased out of legal use in favor of terms such as "sexual assault" or "criminal sexual conduct. Some jurisdictions continue to define rape to cover only acts involving penile penetration of the vagina, treating all other types of non-consensual sexual activity as sexual assault. There are several types of rape, generally categorized by reference to the situation in which it occurs, the sex or characteristics of the victim, and/or the sex or characteristics of the perpetrator. Different types of rape include but are not limited to: date rape, gang rape, marital rape or spousal rape, incestral rape, child sexual abuse, prison rape, acquaintance rape, and statutory rape. "Date rape", often referred to as “acquaintance rape”, is an assault or attempted assault usually committed by a new acquaintance involving sexual intercourse without mutual consent. The term "date rape" is widely used but can be misleading because the person who commits the crime might not be dating the victim. Rather, it could be an acquaintance or stranger. Gang rape occurs when a group of people participate in the rape of a single victim. Rape involving at least two or more violators (normally at least three) is widely reported to occur in many parts of the world. Systematic information on the extent of the problem, however, is scant. One study showed that offenders and victims in gang rape incidents were younger with a higher possibility of being unemployed. Gang rapes involved more alcohol and drug use, night attacks and severe sexual assault outcomes and less victim resistance and fewer weapons than individual rapes. Another study found that group sexual assaults were more violent and had greater resistance from the victim than individual sexual assaults and that victims of group sexual assaults were more likely to seek crisis and police services, to contemplate suicide and seek therapy than those involved in individual assaults. The two...
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