ACQUAINTANCE RAPE- GROWING MENACE
Updated: Oct 25, 2020
Damodaram Sanjivayya National law University,Vishakapatnam.
Acquaintance Rape has been happening in every part of the world with more than one common race. The justice system plays very important role in eradicating and generating further problems for offenders in carrying out these crimes and increasing the incidence of such cases. This study focuses on highlighting the issues that raise the cases of rapes caused by various activities.
Everybody plays some part in performing the acts either as a victim or as a criminal. To reduce the Justice disparity in these cases, it is necessary to understand what triggers the victims of these cases that have to come up with.
Acquaintance Rape is something even more surprising because it's hard to believe and agree with people that you spend your regular life and suddenly their act makes them criminals in your life.
What amounts to Rape under the law?
There are two sections to a 'rape' charge under section 375 of the Indian Penal Code: They are
● In consensual penetration of any orifice in a woman (vagina, anus, mouth, urethra) by a male, OR,
● In consensual mouth-touching to some orifice. It isn't limited to having sex. It's also abused to compel a woman to do something by herself, or for another.
What is meant by Acquaintance Rape?
Acquaintance Rape is a sexual assault committed by someone who knows the victim. It could be a colleague, a classmate, a relative, and a co-worker. As a sex crime, rape by acquaintance involves sexual contact forced, abused, or coerced.
Acquaintance Rape is a kind of rape that is committed by a victim's known individual. This occurs in the workplace by the victim’s colleague, co-partners, family members, husband or girlfriend, on-charge doctor, therapist, etc. An acquaintance just doesn't happen in one day or spontaneously with a feeling that it is pre-planned or happens with day-to-day activity preparation once they meet. Most of the case of acquaintance rape happens when two people either go on the date, are intimated or have intercourse with each other. The sentences, fines, and legal treatment of the rape of the partner are the same as the sporadic cases of rape. Acquaintance Rape often happens with the age group of 16-25 years.
Rape was considered to be one of the most major crimes that used to happen in ancient times. The punishments given for rape in those days were very harsh, dangerous, and full of blood and were counted in the punishment of properties. In the 12th century, laws were given the right to cut off the offender's eyes and feed them, herself to his main organ set by the rulers of those days. After each passing year, the situation took the other side of the coin as the rapes committed were not regarded as a serious crime and were used to get settled simply by offering some monetary fine or by allowing the criminals to marry the victims.
Throughout the medieval period, the girls were required to marry strange men, and the permission to have sex was no longer valid, and chances of being raped by her husband were really high. The rape culture of the young girls was followed by Greek mythology and continues until the date of today. Girls in Roman times were not raped explicitly, they were abducted or exploited by the males. At that time, sexual assault or sexual act was not common. This was the history of the rape and acquaintance rape occurring in the earlier 50s and 60s of times on the globe.
Acquaintance abuse acquires more than 60% of day-to-day odd abuse happenings. There have never been charged against marital rape; once the girl gets married the act of sexual intercourse was permitted by the law and the family. In 1979, a case of rape by a Massachusetts man was the first case of acquaintance rape in world history. The man had sexual intercourse with his wife who wanted to divorce him because of his insanity. The issue of acquaintance rape started in 1979 and has not stopped until now. If a person induces someone to engage in sexual intercourse, it is referred to as rape, and if a person is known to another person, it is referred to as rape of friendship.
Categories of Acquaintance Rape
Date rape refers to the rape that happens during the sex between partners, i.e. the offender and the victim. The offender and the victim appear to have a clear understanding of each other. The romantic night may turn into a crime scene due to the offender's illegal and coercive demand for the victim with or without her permission. Some women or girls are relaxed with the idea whereas others are not at all relaxed which turns out to be a rape. This is also a persuasive way of meeting a person's needs. In the 1980s a study claimed that all these cases occur because of less education and understanding among society's youth and people. Until the 21st century, the court ruled that the victim could not revoke the consent once granted in the cases of rape. When a girl decides during the date to have a sexual relationship with a man and then deny it, she says that she has been raped is entirely immoral, it is not included in the category of rape. 12.2% of the date rape occurs in the minority sector and 9.1% occurs on the victim and the perpetrator during their schooling and college. Date Rape has also been gaining media coverage since 1991 to cover these awful crimes and these cases are getting all the society’s attention.
College Rape among Colleagues
Date rape is a part of Acquaintance Rape but the college students catch large samples of acquaintance. It was found in 1987 that 28 percent of women went through sexual harassment by college colleagues and 8 percent of men admitted to doing such activities during that period. All this can also be proven with the aid of a case that occurred in Hawaii during an English course in which 32 women were acknowledged to be raped by the boys during the college occasion, victims of such crime are saved by members of their family saying that they are children, at times stuff happen in immaturity or giving the money to the police to save their children.
Often college is also involved in diminishing the case to save the college's prestige among the country's other colleges and the nation. Because of this, actual criminals are spared from the crime and the law leaves the case untreated. College girls are raped more than women and the average is four times that of women.
Rape during Parties/ Family Functions
There might also be an acquaintance rape during a party or some festivals with relatives or other family activities. These assaults occur most frequently during a group of youths where the victim's meeting may often turn it into a gang rape. These criminals threaten or intimidate intoxicated women. Environmental factors make such crimes easy to access, such as the availability of private spaces, alcohol, or a party place away from the city, which encourages such crime. Acquaintance rape usually occurs after a party or a function between friends or family members or relatives, maybe directly in that party area in an empty room or a restroom with or without intoxication of parties.
Other Forms of Abuse
1) Though very regularly studying or meeting the same person for the same reason. (Non-Party situation or no date scenario)
2) Society often plays a major role in the incidence of cases such as their disposition or beliefs towards a given person. In society, a girl's popularity plays a part in drawing men's attention to her.
3) Employer and employee relationship or way to get out of work may be due to the sexual relationship between them, which could turn into a rape if refused.
Role of Drug and Alcohol in Acquaintance Rape
In Acquaintance Rape, alcohol plays a major role, because intoxication is the main cause of these crimes. It is not necessary that alcohol use by the victim is consumed exclusively by the offender and may also turn the scene into crime. The attacker may intoxicate the victim to perform the unwanted sexual activity that the victim may later become acquainted with, which turns out to be a crime of rape. Intake of alcohol is often used as a means to justify, after misbehaving or misconduct towards the opposite gender.
Rape is a gender independent offense, but in the majority of cases, it is the women who are the victims. There can also be two sides to the pattern of blaming victims for their actions. A victim might not always be a girl. A male can too be sexually assaulted or raped by the women and men. Research in 1987 notes that sexual impulses are often handed over by both men and women. If girls are forced to get sexually involved with a man, boys are also forced by the women to fulfil their desires. He is then a victim of the crime and is entitled to some remedies and rights provided by the government and the law. Attack of either gender is a criminal offense. A case from 1980 was illustrated as an acquaintance in which a 55-year-old woman indulges a 19-year-old boy in having sex daily for months to satisfy her wishes. It was later confirmed by the boy's family when a recognized aunt learned about rape that had been happening for months as acquaintance rape.
She blackmailed the boy for giving him money and branded clothes and things, etc to fulfil her unwanted and unauthenticated desire. After a couple of days, the boy denied, then she began to threaten him to tell his parents about which boy was doing the act involuntarily that turns out to be a crime in the eyes of law.
Right of a Victim
The following are the rights of a victim:
1) Is required to seek the best medical care available at that stage and as to heal the loss as soon as possible.
2) Is entitled to file a report or F.I.R. with the police about the offense and no one has the right to stop it.
3) Has the right to be handled with good treatment and respect during the judicial or court process.
4) Is entitled to family and community care and views her as a survivor and not a suspect.
5) Has the right to be informed in legal hearings and trial proceedings.
6) Has the freedom to select an attorney to represent her side to the court.
7) shall have the right to recover any damages suffered during the act and the defendant shall be liable to pay the same damages.
Depending on the offender's relationship, the victim has every right to be treated lawfully and as specified by the Statute and the Court.
A lot of changes have to be made by the courts and the legislature. The probation term, which usually ranges from one to ten years, where on average most convicts get away with a very small fine of three or four years of severe imprisonment; and in some cases where the perpetrator is resourceful or powerful, can also expiate by paying large sums of money and being exculpated. The courts must recognize that these conscientious criminals, who can often beat and torment their victims, and even young children, will not be dissuaded or ennobled by such a brief period of incarceration. And it must be in the best interest of justice and society, these criminals should be sentenced to life imprisonment.
If a crime or violation happens it should be reported exclusively to the police, whose incompetence is seen in countries. Everyone has to learn about their limits when it comes to avoiding the proliferation of sexual contact with someone because he is a friend. Someone should know when to share and communicate with one's partner about their feelings.
The law stays the same but the number of victims is used to increase and build the economic hazard and continues to ruin the innocent and vulnerable victims' lives.
The amendment of 1983 brought a few changes in the light of the rape law and the amendment of few provisions in the rape law but it is not yet enough as the rate of crime does not stop but keeps on increasing. New forms of punishing the culprits shall be made. The court and the legislature should bring several reforms to put a complete stop to the rapes and their occurrence in the countries. Boys-oriented education should begin at school, which at unfavourable times can allow them to regulate their sexual needs.
▪ Indian Penal Code, 1860
▪ Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973
▪ Indian Evidence Act, 1872
▪ The Constitution of India, 1950
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