RAPE time was referred to a ‘nigger


Research Paper-Week 09
Olga Martinez
Criminal Law JUAD3300
Professor Mruzik
July 29, 2018

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Rape dates to the Greeks starting with Zeus, who has been considered the Superior God
in Greek Mythology. The stories I read about him were unbelievable since studying about him
throughout high school, I never saw Zeus as anything other than a superior god and well maybe
that was because we were young, and teachers were not allowed to teach about sex or adultery at
that time. There are many stories about rape and sexual assaults on women, but majority of the
history blames the victim as many still do in present day society. Women were killed for being
the victim of rape and in some cases were forced to marry their attacker because they were
considered damaged goods. Even in ancient times women were called temptress or seducers,
men who were taken to court were never convicted because the woman asked for it. Until the late
19th Century, the word ‘rapist’ was never used, and majority of the time was referred to a ‘nigger
rapist’. It was easier to convict a black man than a white man because black men were tried in
slave courts where unanimous jury verdicts were always handed down. One of the earliest trials
in America where a white man, Captain James Dunn of New York City, was charged with
‘assault with intent to seduce’ and was only fined $1 because the woman was considered to be
promiscuous and she has obtained venereal diseases. Many of the stories of rape or sexual assault
were about powerful men who got away with rape because the woman was just a peasant. Some
those cases still happen in our day and age, for example Bill Cosby who drugged women to have
sex with them, his trial was a hung jury because he is rich and famous, and nobody sees him as a
Rape, what is considered rape? Rape is the act of sexual intercourse without the consent
of the victim or with a minor. There are many types of rape; forcible rape, statutory rape, marital
rape, date rape and sexual assault, indency with a child, and aggravated sexual assault.
Therefore, the laws differ from case to case basis and state to state laws. Rape laws also depend


on age of victim, mental capacity, handicap disabilities, and the extent of the assault. I believe as
a woman that rape is the worst thing a woman could go through in her lifetime because you
would lose all faith and trust in society and in yourself. You would constantly question yourself
like what did I do to provoke this, or did I wear the wrong or maybe you were just at the wrong
place and rape is never the victim’s fault? A woman would be worried about sexual diseases or
possibility of getting pregnant. Too many women go through this situation and never report it in
fear of no one believing you or being ashamed it happened to you and you just do not want
anyone to know about it. The women that do report it to the police often like they are being
judged by the police, family or friends, it’s like being raped all over again. Police departments far
too often want to blame the victim like who asks to get raped? No one asks to get violated but
this is one reason so many rapes and sexual assaults go unreported. Too many times a victim is
blamed because of her clothing, her occupation, she likes to attend bars, and her past sexual
history. Women are put on trial along with the accuser like she did something wrong. According
to the Federal Bureau of Investigations, one forcible rape is reported to the police every 6
minutes that is about 240 forcible rapes per day on an average and that does include the rapes
that go unreported. Many of the rape cases that are reported are we what we call date rape, it is
usually you are acquainted with or have some type of relationship with, many date rape cases the
accuser uses alcohol or some form of what we call date rape drugs such as Rohypnol aka ‘roofies’
to assault their victims. The victims are too drunk or under the influence to consent to sex or
fight an attack off and the attacker than accuses the victim that she wanted it and she allowed it
to happen while the victim does not remember the whole attack which even makes it harder for
the courts to prosecute. These are many of the cases that go unreported especially in colleges.
Date rape is usually associated with college campuses. 1 in 5 college students will become


victims of sexual assault but only about 12% will report their assaults. Sexual assault or rape has
always been an issue for the military as well and those cases usually go unreported in fear of
being retaliated, ridiculed, or harassed by their fellow peers. In 2013, President Obama gave the
United States Department of Defense one year to show progress in eliminating sexual assaults in
the military. By 2014, a year later, sexual assaults had declined from 26,000 to 19,000 annually
and more cases were being reported.
Why do we as a society blame the victim when she is sexually assaulted or raped?
According to the attribution theory, blaming victims for reckless or negligent behavior is
reasonable and adaptive because it influences them to be more careful in the future. Is it to say
the victim learned a hard lesson and they will not do it again but what did the victim actually do
wrong? Was she too pretty, too sexy, too much make-up, too friendly, clothing was to sexy, what
exactly did the victim do wrong? Society wants to blame victim’s behavior as irresponsible or the
victim should have not gotten herself into that situation in the first place. Society also blames the
victim to distance themselves from an unpleasant occurrence and thereby confirm their own
vulnerability to the risk. By thinking I’m not the like the victim this will never happen to me.
Victim blaming is what makes it harder for victims to come forward and report the abuse. The
victims are afraid of the retaliation and the victim will not feel safer or comfortable. When we as
a society, victim blame we are rapping the victim all over again by making the victim feel like it
is her fault. Victim-blaming attitudes allow the abuser to perpetrate the relationship abuse and
sexual assault while avoiding accountability for his or her actions.
Rape culture is a term that was coined by feminists in the United States in the 1970s.
Rape culture is defined as a complex set of beliefs that encourage male sexual aggression and
supports violence against women. Rape culture includes jokes, television, music, advertising,


legal jargon, laws, words, and imagery that makes violence against women and sexual coercion
seem so normal that people think rape is inevitable. Why do we teach women how not to get
sexually assaulted or rape instead of teaching why not to rape? What is wrong with our society?
Rape culture tells women how to protect themselves by not going to loud bars and not to wear
tight clothing that attracts to the wrong attention. Rape should never be a victim’s fault. Women
are objectified images on media including commercials, movies, and music videos. Women have
always been considered sex objects just look as far back as Marilyn Monroe and Audi Hepburn,
every picture you see of them they are portrayed as sex objects, dressed sexy and men hugging
them. Women are sexual objects in just about every type of media you see. In sports, women are
cheerleaders parading around in skimpy outfits but if you love the sport that is all that matters
with or without cheerleaders, but the women seem to add excitement to sports industry. Another
important question many people ask, is why women allow themselves to be treated as sex
objects? Women are seen in various genres of music videos with barely enough clothing to cover
anything, being treated as sex objects, men degrading them with music lyrics. You see women in
movies being portrayed as sex objects with little or no intelligence. Why are women not seen as
equals to men? Why are women called trophy wives? Is it because the husband has money,
social status, why? Women have always been seen as property from when the world was created.
The effects of sexual violence can have psychological, emotional, and physical effects on
a survivor. Women go through all kinds of different feelings like anxiety, stress, fear, and some
women go through post-traumatic stress disorder. Women have nightmares or flashbacks about
the violent act, women change their behavior or lose interest in hobbies or activities they once
enjoyed, and some women live in fear by being scared to sleep or getting startled easily. Women
distant themselves from the life they once enjoyed because they feel like somehow, they


provoked the attacker or that it is their fault in some way. Women will start thinking what they
could have done different to prevent the attack, but it was not their fault they were attacked or
raped. Women experience some form of depression by not eating properly or sleeping enough or
even avoid family and friends all together. They feel ashamed and embarrassed of being raped.
Women who were raped usually worry about venereal diseases and/or the possibility of getting
pregnant. Women use dissociation to escape from reality from being sexually attacked.
Dissociation is one of the many defense mechanisms the brain uses to deal with the trauma of
sexual violence. Some victims even consider suicide because they feel ashamed and seem to not
be able to move past the sexual violence. Recovering from a sexual assault is a long timely
process and depending on the victim it might take weeks or years to recover and live a normal
life once again. Some women that are sexually violated that are married or in relationship are
sometimes unable to have that intimacy relationship with their partner and end up divorce or
ending the relationship. They understand their partners did not attack them but the idea of being
touched by any man is unbearable. There are plenty of counseling groups available to victims of
sexual abuse which would be highly recommended to talk about what happened, so you can let
out your anger, your fears, and your hatred instead of bottling everything in. In Texas, there are
plenty of legal aid and crisis centers throughout the state like LASSA which is Legal Aid for
Survivors of Sexual Assault. The Women’s Center of Tarrant County is one of the largest centers
in Texas that provides assistance for victims of sexual assault from legal aid to counseling to
employment opportunities.
Statutory rape laws are to protect young women from sexual intercourse under the age of
18 years old. Rape shield laws are statutes that protect the identity of a rape victim and/or
prevent disclosure of a victim’s sexual history. Rape shield laws are designed “to protect the


victims of sexual assault from humiliating and embarrassing public fishing expeditions into their
sexual conduct; to overcome victims’ reluctance to report incidents from psychological or
emotional abuse in court as the price of their cooperation in prosecuting sex offenders.” Rape
shield laws came about in the 1970s by feminist groups which also abolished marital rape laws.
In 1994, women’s advocates lobbied for the Violence Against Women Act, a federal law which
in intended to improve investigation and prosecution of rape, domestic violence, and other
violent crimes against women. It also provides grants for rape crisis centers and legal aid groups.
In 2013, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 which included violent
sexual crimes against same sex, transgenders, Native Americans, and immigrants. Statute 18
U.S.C. 2242 states that you can be charged with rape if, while in the special maritime and
territorial jurisdiction of the U.S. or in a federal prison, or in any prison, institution, or facility in
which persons are held in custody and caused another person to engage in a sexual act by
threatening or placing that other person in fear or engaged in a sexual act with another person if
that person is incapable of appraising the nature of the conduct or physically incapable of
declining, participating, or communicating their unwillingness; or attempted to cause any of
these actions. Rape can also be considered a federal law if you crossed state lines to commit the
offense, committed crime in international waters, committed the offense in the District of
Columbia, committed the crime on federal property or committed offense against a federal
official, ambassador, consul, or other foreign officials under the protection of the U.S.
In my state which is Texas, rape is divided into four categories of charges which are
sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, statutory rape, and sodomy. Sexual assault of an adult
intentionally or knowingly without the person’s consent or sexual assault of a child is considered


a second-degree felony which includes 2-20 years of imprisonment and a maximum fine of
$10,000. Aggravated sexual assault is intentionally and knowingly sexual assault without
consent, causing srerious bodily injury, or attempt death of a victim, threatens the victim with
death or serious bodily injury, uses or exhibits a deadly weapon, administers or provides
flunitrazepam aka ‘roofies’, any other rape drugs, or victim is under 14 years of age, or if victim
is elderly or disabled. Aggravated sexual assault is a first-degree felony punishable by 5-99 years
of imprisonment with a $10,000 fine; if the victim is under the age of 14 the minimum sentence
increases to 25 years imprisonment. Statutory rape is used to refer to sexual penetration of a
youth. Texas has no specific statutory rape statute, but this sentiment is captured under Sexual
Assault “Against a child”, Aggravated Sexual Assault “Against a child”, and Indecency with a
Child. Engaging in sexual contact with a child younger than 17 or causing the child to engage in
sexual contact. Indecency with a child is a second-degree felony which is punishable by 2-20
years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $10,000 or a third-degree felony which is punishable
by 2-10 years imprisonment with a maximum fine of $10,000 fine. In Texas, Sodomy is defined
as a person who commits an offense if he engages in deviate sexual intercourse with another
individual of the same sex. Sodomy is classified as a Class C Misdemeanor with a maximum fine
of $500.
In other states like California, rape is categorized into 10 offenses, rape, rape of a spouse,
sodomy, forcible acts of sexual penetration, oral copulation, sexual battery, unlawful sexual acts
procured by fraud or false pretenses, aggravated sexual assault of a child, sexual acts with a child
10 years younger, and statutory rape. I was surprised and happy to see some of their charges
since they are divided into specific categories like rape of a spouse because some states do not
believe a man should be charged with raping his own wife. Your spouse is not your property and


should be treated like an equal. I believe if your spouse does not want to be intimate with you
that you shouldn’t make them. I didn’t understand too much the unlawful sexual acts procured by
fraud or false pretenses which states the offender basically lies or threatens the victim into have
sexual acts. In Florida, rape is categorized into 3 offenses, sexual battery, statutory rape, and
sodomy. Sexual battery is the only charge in Florida that carries more prison time or fine
Rape is the one charge that the law varies from state to state in which some states allow
people of wealth or status to get away with lower charge of rape. If a woman says no it means no
how simpler is that. I do believe with rape shield laws involved that men know that they will be
responsible for their actions and that it’s not okay to violate a woman or a child. There are also
plenty of men that are wrongfully accused and end up doing time for something that never or
happened or the woman consented and decided to accuse the man after relationship wasn’t what
they wanted. Rape laws can protect the victim but also to make sure the right offender is being
prosecuted especially when it comes to statutory rape cases.


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Felson, Richard B.; Palmore, Christopher; Psychology of Violence, Vol 8(3), May, 2018
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History of Rape Culture, retrieved from http://historyofrapeculture.weebly.com/history-
International Models Project on Women’s Rights, retrieved from
RAINN, retrieved from https://www.rainn.org/about-sexual-assault
Scheb and Scheb II, Criminal Law amd Procedure, Cengage, 8th Edition 2014
Southern Connecticut State University, retrieved from http://southernct.edu/sexual-
Wavaw Rape Crisis Centre, retrieved from http://www.wavaw.ca/what-is-rape-culture/




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