The Increasing Need to Reform Rape Laws

Decent Essays

Rape is one of the most widespread and ubiquitous violent crimes facing America, making laws regarding rape and the judicial processing of rape increasingly important. The judicial process itself deters both rape reports and rape convictions. Not only does the judicial processing or rape cases itself deter reports and convictions, but it also has a negative impact on the moral and mental well being of the victims who decide to pursue their cases. According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network, “there is an average of 237,868 victims (age 12 or older) of rape and sexual assault each year.” It is estimated that “out of every 100 rapes, 40 get reported to the police, 10 lead to an arrest, 8 get prosecuted, 4 lead to a felony conviction” and “3 rapists will spend even a single day in prison.” Furthermore, “about 95% of” the four percent of felony “convictions are obtained by way of a plea agreement” rather than through trial. In some states, like “California, there is a higher acquittal rate for rape than for any other felony" (926).
Rape, as defined by the Uniform Crime Reporting Program in 2011, is “penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.” This differs from the previous definition of rape, “first established in 1927, ‘the carnal knowledge of a female, forcibly and against her will.’ It thus included only forcible male penile

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