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Are rape and sexual assaults considered as hate crimes

  • Category: Crime
  • Topic: Rape
  • Pages: 3
  • Words: 1286
  • Published: 16 Jun 2018
  • Downloads: 228
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Hate crimes are crimes that are motivated by discrimination towards a targeted group. Perpetrators perform harmful acts towards victims and can be as dangerous as murder or death threats to spitting and name calling (Saucier, Brown, Mitchell, Cawman, Kansas State University, University of Kentucky, 2006). There are many different types of hate crimes in society but this essay will focus on hate crimes involving gender discrimination (female, homosexuals, etc.) and under the topic of rape. This essay argues that not all rape and sexual assault are hate crimes because there is already a law for rape itself and the motives of rapists determines which type of crime is being committed.

To start off, hate crimes, rather than an attack on one individual, it is an act of intimidation against a specific group (Cogan, 2002). Statistics of these depends on the willingness of a victim to report the crime to the police and the willingness of the police to categorize the act as a hate crime (Saucier, Brown, Mitchell, Cawman, Kansas State University, University of Kentucky, 2006). Rape is an act of forceful sexual intercourse on another person against the person’s will (Baldwin, 2014) and charges may vary from countries. To relate the two topics, an example is the ‘big rape’ that occurred in post-world war II. In the event, German men had been killed or taken prisoner, and the women are left to clean the ruins and find materials for survivals, often as sexual partners and victims. As the war kept going on, rape became more popular because of the stress of soldiers. The numbers reported for these rapes vary wildly, from as few as 20,000 to almost one million, or even two million altogether. A conservative estimate might be about 110,000 women raped, many more than once, and as many as 10,000 died in the aftermath (Grossman, 2011) “Rape had become a routine” as many had noted. Some people may see from this that rape has shown signs of inequality in gender for centuries because of how men used women as a stress relieve tool, thinking that men have power over women. Though the majority argues that raping women to overpower the opposite gender is still not enough reason to consider rape and hate crime as the same thing for reasons that will be explained in the following paragraphs.

The first reason why hate crime should not be put together with rape is because there is already a law for rape itself (Is rape a hate crime? n.d.). If a women is raped because or her race, because the woman in a relationship with a black man, or if the woman is homosexual then it would be considered a hate crime. On the other hand if the woman is simply raped because of her gender, it is a sex crime. Though people on the internet argue that the sex crime laws has many flaws in them, the government has been creating new systems such as the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) that aims to strengthen the nationwide network of sex offender registrations and close potential gaps and loopholes that existed under prior laws (Department of Justice, n.d.). SORNA requires sex offenders to provide more broad registration information. However, hate crime laws criminalize the use or threat of force against a person of a specific group. The Hate Crimes Statistics Act (1990), Bureau of Justice Administration (1997) and the Anti-Defamation League all has different definitions of hate crimes but mainly they all define hate crimes as crimes that are bias-motivated with the evidence of prejudice based on perceived race, colour, religion, sexual orientation, disability, etc (Robinson, 2011). Hate crime legislation is designed to deal with violence that’s committed by a stranger or outsider or people who are unknown to the victim, in which is less useful when dealing with cases where the perpetrator is an ex-partner, acquaintance, or a friend (Julia, 2010).

The second reason why rape should not be considered as a hate crime is because motives of rapists determine whether a sex or hate crime is being committed. Three most common cited motives for rape are power, anger, and sex (McCabe & Wauchope, 2005). Psychiatrist Holmstrom and Burgess (1980) reported that power and anger are opposed to sexual motives. They proposed that sexuality was never the domaint theme even though power, anger and sex were always included. “Rape was the use of sexuality to express power and anger” Holmstom and Burgess concluded. Robert A. Prentky, the director of Clinical and Forensic Services and Raymond A. Knight, a professor at Brandeis University (1991) suggested a similar proposal that feelings of social and sexual weakness may motivate a rapist to overcome the feelings by forcing control over a woman, sexual behavior. Conversely, hate crimes are viewed as more serious than sex crimes to the media. The main motive usually involves hatred to the victim’s preferences such as her gender preferences, religion, race, etc. (Jasiewicz, 2003). For example in South Africa the gay community would be violently targeted, because of that, the term ‘corrective rape is believed to originate from there (Rosenberg, 2014). Corrective rape is one of the most serious rapes committed by hate crime offenders. It is the act of an attempt to cure lesbians of heterosexuality by rape (Martin, Kelly, Turquet, Ross, 2009). A sample case is Mvuleni Fana’s case whom was walking back from her usual football practice one evening when suddenly four men surrounded and dragged her back to the stadium and raped her one by one, beating her unconscious and leaving her to die. The next morning Mvuleni came back home bleeding, in shock and terrified by the last thing she remember the attackers say to her before she passed out: “After everything we’re going to do to you, you’re going to be a real woman, and you’re never going to act like this again”(Patrick, 2014).

On the other hand, women rights worker are now fighting to make any sexual assault including rape treated as a hate crime so it can be judged fairly no matter the race, national origin, religion, and sexual orientation (Levin & McDevitt, 2008). The group stated, men feel power over women, people also proposed that all crimes against women should be reexamined through hate crimes criteria, and if anything can be done if there are high rates of violence and assaults related to gender bias (Ave, 2014). A.G. Shaffer, a petition organizer for women rights stated “I believe once law enforcement realizes that hate is the crime and sex is the weapon, then rape will no longer be seen as a “sex crime” but realized as an overt act of aggression against a particular group of people…. simply because they belong to that group.” As stated in the previous paragraphs, not all rapists commit a crime because of hate. It may simply be because of obsession or just to make them happy, hate is not always the motive. Around 13 states in America is already viewing sexual assault or gender related crimes as a hate crime, but the majority of countries and states still differ in thought(Levin & McDevitt, 2008).

To summarize the argument, rape and other sexual assaults against women should not all be considered as a hate crime due to many factors. Rape and hate crime both has its own laws and sentences. Motives of the rapists determine which type of crime is being committed; it does not always result as a hate crime. Hate crime is viewed as more serious to the media, therefore it should be judged fairly not only because of the emotion of the victim or society’s influence on how all men that rape ‘hates’ women.

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GradesFixer. (2018, Jun, 16) Are rape and sexual assaults considered as hate crimes. Retrived February 23, 2020, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/are-rape-and-sexual-assaults-considered-as-hate-crimes/
"Are rape and sexual assaults considered as hate crimes." GradesFixer, 16 Jun. 2018, https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/are-rape-and-sexual-assaults-considered-as-hate-crimes/. Accessed 23 February 2020.
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