Many barriers limit sexual assault victims from reporting the cases to the relevant authorities. It serves as the main motivation for the increasing cases of sexual assault because the victimizers have no one to stop them. Sexual assault victims face formidable obstacles to accessing the judicial system. Many are afraid due to the stigmatization in society, the physical and psychological trauma caused by the ordeal, and the lack of information on navigating the justice system. If they succeed in reporting the cases, sentencing and the punishment given to the perpetrators are not enough to offer justice to the violates. Some plans are weak and inconsistent, making it difficult to advocate justice for the sexually assaulted. Therefore, improving justice systems to give proper punishments to the perpetrators of sexual assault will effectively reduce the cases of sexual assault.
The legal system should be fair and just, meaning they should deliberate judgment of sexual assault in the best way possible. The laws and regulations set aside to reduce the number of cases should be enough to prevent anyone from violating them (O’Neal, 2019). The punishments given to the perpetrators should be effective and set an example to others, reducing ad preventing the repetition of the same. The laws of a certain country should be airtight, and they should dictate the acts of their fellow citizens and discourage them from violating them.
Therefore, the blame should be placed on the justice system for leaving loopholes in the system for perpetrators to escape (O’Neal, 2019). Regardless of the present laws and punishment which is deliberated the sexual offenders, some so many undiscovered cases and victims did not get through to the justice system, or rather, get justice for themselves. This research paper looks at the main reasons why the members do not come forward with sexual offense cases. It also looks at the methods that should be applied to investigate the cases properly, and the punishment that should be applied to reduce the cases of sexual assault.
Why Sexual Assault is Rarely Reported
The relationship between the victim and the offender determines the likelihood of reporting. Many are violated by people close to them, who employ fear and threat tactics to shut them up (Eisenberg et al., 2021). Many are unsuspecting relatives, and the victims are forced to stay silent for fear of breaking the family. The victims are therefore placed in a dilemma of what to choose, justice or family. Sometimes the offender is a close friend which poses minimum chances of being reported. Less likely to be reported is when the offender is a stranger who might pose a threat to the victim’s family. Some disappear and cannot be traced, and it would take a long for the legal system to address them. Many victims require time to heal from the trauma, and the more time elapses, the more they become reluctant to address the matter (Eisenberg et al., 2021). The procrastination causes the urgency of the issue to fade away.
The victims may not come forward due to their distrust of the justice system. They believe that the justice system is questionable even if they report the matter. It is not effective enough to take the necessary actions against the offender. For instance, research shows that six of ten thousand sexual offenders do not spend a day in jail (Dworkin, 2020). Many are granted bail, and the cases disappear because they do not follow up on them. These instances do not instill much faith and confidence in the justice system. It discourages the victims from following up on the whole process, considering it would be futile (Dworkin, 2020). Therefore, the fear of the justice system discourages the members from coming forward with assault cases.
The victims believe that law enforcement cannot help with their cases. It is mostly contributed by the fact that others who have gone through the same get no assistance from law enforcement (O’Neal, 2019). They do not ensure that every case is handled strategically, professionally, and discreetly. They consider sexual assault cases with weak and inconsiderable leads a waste of time. Due to this, the victims might feel that there are more important cases than theirs, which means that the law enforcers will not give it the attention it deserves. The reported cases to authorities are downplayed with various excuses (O’Neal, 2019). For instance, if a minor report the case to their counselors, they make excuses which most times justifies the offender’s actions. Therefore, the child will grow up knowing that men are justified in assaulting them because they are men. The sexually assaulted, therefore, will justify the actions, and will not be in a capacity to report them.
Many victims are scared of coming forward due to the prevailing stigma from society. Misconceptions in society result in criticizing the victims instead of helping them. Many opinions, negative attitudes, and discrimination directed at the sexually assaulted discourage them from coming forward (Socia et al., 2021). For instance, society means to believe that the victims have certain characteristics which attract the perpetrators. Women who expose some intimate parts of themselves might drive their counterparts to violate them (Socia et al., 2021). Others are said to pick a fight with the offenders and cannot explain the violation, placing it under the category of sexual assault. Society places the blame on the victim of the assault, which makes it difficult for them to come forward with their cases.
Methods Applied to Investigate Sexual Assault Cases
Sexual assault cases are serious, and law enforcement should exhaust every possible way of investigating them until the perpetrator faces the consequences of their actions. However, it all starts with whether the victim is willing to report the case and see it to the end. Many investigative methods can be applied to sexual assault cases, which may impact many lives (Scott, 2022). There are many things to learn about the sexual assault case, the series of events, and individual responsibility for the actions. The outcome is determined by the effectiveness of the investigation, which is carried out by law enforcement.
The forensic department should be keen enough to gather all the evidence ad carry out effective tests from the crime scene, failure to which the evidence will be distorted and will not be able to help in the case. The police should interview potential witnesses and alibis to ensure that they catch the right victim and offender. If the DNA tests pin the victim and the perpetrator on the crime scene, the law enforcers can proceed with the investigation. If the crime scene is distorted, they should pursue other channels of investigation with the help of attorneys (Scott, 2022). The investigations should be unbiased, whether the perpetrator is a military soldier or a person in power. The military can be intimidating, and cases of assault can be ignored, which is where the system fails.
Punishment Applied to Reduce Cases of Sexual Assault
Many penalties, sentences, and punishments are imposed on the perpetrators of sexual assault. However, due to the failing legal systems, they are not enough to reduce the cases of sexual assault. When reinforced, some of these punishments are severe enough to scare people from violating the laws against them. The military should clarify the laws regarding sexual assault and the punishments corresponding to each one (Scott, 2022). Actions should be taken against the officers who turn out to be sexual offenders, which would set an example for the rest. When the cases are taken to court, the punishment should reflect the victim’s suffering.
The normal sentence for a sexual offender goes to a maximum of 20 years. However, many see this as disappointing and unfair since some do not spend six months in jail. The sentence should be extended, withdrawing bail and parole. The offenders should be maintained in a maximum-security prison where they cannot escape or receive guests. No one would want to spend this whole time in jail, working severely throughout the jail term (Nour, 2020). Knowing the consequences of their actions would result in a difficult jail term, and no one would want to take the risk. This would reduce the cases of sexual assault.
Several penalties fall aside from jail or prison which befall a sexual offender. Many countries subject sex offenders to treatments such as chemical castration as punishment (Nour, 2020). This is because they are a threat to the general public and should pay for their crimes in the most efficient way possible. They believe jail time is insufficient to stop the offenders from repeating the same action when they get out. It is an effective therapy to prevent future victims of sexual assault (Nour, 2020). The chemical castration was passed through the Medical, Legal Experts Debate Merits of Castration Bill by Madeline Baro and in the Texas Legislature by Senator Teel Bivins (Nour, 2020). It is effective enough to reduce the number of sexual assault cases.
Another treatment that serves as a punishment for sexual offenders is the removal of amounts of testosterone, which reduces made aggressiveness. A drug was administered to the perpetrators, which proved to work by reducing male urges in sexual desire (Banerjee, 2020). There are other damages that the prosecution of a sexual offender can cause. For instance, when a person is prosecuted, they lose their employment and child custody. The criminal records, especially in the military, would ensure that they do not get employment elsewhere when they finish their jail term (Foster & Fullagar, 2018). It taints their curriculum vitae forever, which makes it difficult for them to get employment in their line of profession. The military officers are demoted from their workplaces; others are thrown into black cities, where they cannot be a threat to the general public again. The military, which is supposed to protect the citizens, should have no tolerance for actions that harm them.
The reduction of sexual assault cases is purely dependent on the justice system of a country. They should be dedicated to eliminating crime in the countries and not treat them with ignorance and neglect. This only causes an increase in such cases, which causes people to trend fear being violated in different places. The punishments should set an example to avoid and eliminate future instances. They should reduce the number of sexual assaults, leading to fewer victims.
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