Any study on violent crime is of paramount importance to humanity.
This is because violent crimes have continued to cause fear, trauma, severe suffering and brutal deaths in many societies of the world and thus demeaning the sanctity of life and also making the world to be a jungle where it is only the strongest who survives. For the purpose of my study the violent crime of interest will be rape and sexual assault. This is the most common violent which has mostly continued to destroy the lives of women and girls in general because they perceived and made to believe so by the society that they are weak and any man can take advantage over their bodies. Even though there have been a few cases of boy child being molested and even a few men becoming victims of rape and sexual assault it has not caused great alarm since these cases are rare and quite insignificant (“Sexual Assault”, 2006, p. 1).
The subject of rape and sexual assault against women and girl child is of great interest to all mankind who has respect to human life. Most of rape are said to been committed by very close members of the family and friends and only a few cases are as a result abuse by total strangers and this explains why most of rape cases and sexual assault end up unreported to the relevant authorities for action since the victims fells a lot of shame to report these instances and also at the same time they think that nobody will believe them and in some cases the victim may also want to protect the offenders most especially in the cases where the close family members and friends are involved. In this case we are going to look at a certain social problem which is rape and sexual assault its extent and impact it has caused to mankind. We are also going to look at the causes and possible solutions to rape and sexual assault and see also if we can apply the sociological concepts to address these problems. Finally we will see how different theories such as functionalist, conflicts and symbolic interactions can be used to describe these issues of rape and sexual assault.
The impact of rape and sexual assault are very severe to an extent of even causing disorientation in ones sexual patterns and even somebody undergoing permanent effects of trauma which can be experienced for their entire live.
The impacts can be categorized in to various stages. Firstly, there are those impacts felt immediately before the rape or the sexual assault is carried on the victim and these includes great feelings of fear and anger towards the person perpetrator of crime. This can also lead to adoption to a controlled way of response.
Secondly, there are those impacts felt immediately after the occurrence the act of rape or sexual assault and these includes mostly the physical harm on the victim which is mainly associated with pains in the stomach, throat, legs and also the arms. Also the victim can have uncomfortable sleep patterns which can be associated with crying during the sleep and this may result to decreased levels of appetite which can be very harmful to the health of the victim. Other impacts can be short term and they can include great feeling of shame and blaming themselves on what happened and thus instilling feeling of guilt. The victim can also have great desire to seek for revage against the offenders because they feel highly degraded by such acts of rape and sexual assault and this can make the victims to have strong instant changes in their moods (“Violent Crimes”, 2006, p. 1). Also the victim can as well undergo some long term effects such as having great desire to move away in the transfer to other schools where the victim thinks she will be in a position to escape the reality of what happened to her. The long term effects can also include the development of phobias and fears.
The victims will also experience sleeplessness associated with nightmares and frequent dreams. The worst of all is that the victims may take very long to regain their normal sexual orientations.
One of the common causes can be the cultural aspects which are at the fore front in instigating the rape and sexual assault. This is because the culture in our societies has made us think that the women do not mean what they say on matters of sex and thus their no can be interpreted to mean yes to sex since they are reluctant to say yes in order to avoid being perceived as loose on matters of sex. This makes some men to think that by forcing women to sex will spare them from losing their reputation for not being seen as loose ladies and at the same time giving a chance to enjoy sex. Also some men can force themselves on women for fear of being seen as if they are gay and also to spare their ladies which they want to start dating the feeling of thinking that they are not attractive. There are a lot of myths regarding the rape which has made people to put little concern in dealing with cases of rape and the sexual assault.
Some of this includes the misconception that rape is a crime of passion which is not the case since the main motive of rape is the desire to dominate over a lady and control her. The second misconception is that it is not possible to rape someone who is unwilling thus those who are raped are usually too willing. This is not since women are threatened with violence and most of the victims have suffered injuries while trying to resist with some meeting their deaths in the process of resisting rape.
The best solutions to these social problems are to ensure that all people and especially women and girl child take maximum preventive cares where possible. One of the preventive measures can include the fact that the victims should follow their instincts especially when approached by a suspicious person they should make appropriate action to avoid the instances of rape or sexual assaults. Also the women in general should avoid going to dangerous places alone at night and if it is not avoidable they should be accompanied by somebody.
It is also recommended for women to undergo some training to acquire some skills for self defense. Also the culture should socialize its people in a way that women’s sexual rights are protected and respected and women’s to be truthful to their feelings and not saying no when they do not mean it to avoid being misunderstood by men and society at large (“Forcible Rape”, 2006, p. 1). The men should have a clear understanding that if they force women to have sexual affairs with them this is rape regardless of whether they are forcing their wives or their friends and they should refrain from such actions of crime.
Here the most significant concept of sociology is what sociologists can term as deviant. In this case the moral values of and expectations of a give society are compromised and the society for one reason or the other can reward these deviations in a positive or negative manner. For example a person who commits an act of rape or sexual assault sometimes can be punished by the society or the society can decide to keep quiet and thus in such circumstances the perpetrator of these crimes can tend to believe that the society has come to accept and tolerate such acts. This can create a society where by those who practice crimes on others are seen as heroes and thus a lot of youth may adopt such behaviors and because of this reason when a particular crime happen the perpetrators should be severely punished and the whole society to curse such acts whether if they are done by their family members or not.
Our first theory is the symbolic interactionism which emphasizes that people acquire behavior as a result of socializing with others by interacting through symbols and gestures and thus learning to attach meaning to various symbols. For example through interaction various societies have come to generalize that women may say no on matters of sex when they do not mean no and thus facilitating cases of rape. Secondly, the other theory is the functionalist in which society is seen as a structure with various norms and also some vices as well which constitute the deviation from moral standards and thus the occurrence of various crimes such as rape (Hawkins, 2003, p.
31). Thirdly, the other theory is the conflict theory which stipulates the existence of inequality all aspects of life and thus explaining the existence of bad people and good people as well.
It is very clear that the responsibility of eliminating violent crime lies on the hands of each and every person as an individual and as a society at large. This is because for crimes such as rape and sexual assault to stop all men must learn to respect and appreciate women and girl child in particular. In this case we have addressed rape and sexual assault and its impact together with possible causes and solutions and finally we have seen various theories which explain such social problems.
Crime in the United States. (2006). Forcible Rape.
Retrieved August 2, 2010, from,http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius_04/offenses_reported/violent_crime/forcible_rape.html Crime in the United States. (2006). Violent Crime.
Retrieved August 2, 2010, from,http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius_04/offenses_reported/violent_crime/index.html Hawkins, F. (2003).
Violent Crimes: assessing race and ethnic differences. California. Barnes & Noble. Sexual Assault. (2006). What is sexual assault? Retrieved August 2, 2010, from,http://www.commerce.wa.gov/site/261/default.aspx