Rape is defined as unlawful sexual activity, most often involving sexual intercourse against the will of the victim through force or the threat of force or with an individual who is incapable of giving legal consent because of minor status, mental illness, mental deficiency, intoxication, unconsciousness, or deception. In many jurisdictions, the crime of rape has been subsumed under that of sexual assault. Rape was long considered to be caused by unbridled sexual desire, but it is now understood as a pathological assertion of power over a victim. Many of the rape lawyers in Mississauga are worried about the psychological behavioural pattern of the offenders.
The age at which an individual may give effective consent to sexual intercourse is commonly set in most countries at between 14 and 18 years. Sexual intercourse with a person below the age of consent is termed statutory rape, and consent is no longer relevant. The term statutory rape specifically refers to the legal proscription against having sexual intercourse with a child or any other person presumed to lack comprehension of the physical and other consequences of the act. The term statutory rape may also refer to any kind of sexual assault committed against a person above the age of consent by an individual in a position of authority. Statutory rape often leaves the victim with long-term psychological and physical damage, including sexually transmitted diseases and the inability to bear children.
For example, statutory rape was particularly prevalent in South Africa in the period following the abolition of apartheid when it was estimated that some two fifths of South African rape victims were under age 18. Many rapes in the country were committed in the mistaken belief that sexual intercourse with a virgin (including an infant) would cure the rapist of HIV. According to interpol, in the early 21st century there were more rapes per capita in South Africa than in any other country. A 2009 study conducted by the Medical Research Council in South Africa showed that more than a quarter of South African men said they had committed rape. Nearly three-quarters of those men committed their first rape before reaching age 20, and nearly half of them were repeat offenders. Many of the participants expressed no remorse for the assaults during the court session held by criminal lawyers.
Rape as a weapon of war
The rape of women by soldiers during wartime has occurred throughout history. Indeed, rape was long considered an unfortunate but inevitable accompaniment of war the result of the prolonged sexual deprivation of troops and insufficient military discipline, Its use as a weapon of war was gruesomely demonstrated during world war 2, when both Allied and Axis armies committed rape as a means of terrorizing enemy civilian populations and demoralizing enemy troops. Two of the worst examples were the sexual enslavement of women in territories conquered by the Japanese army and the mass rape committed against German women by advancing Russian soldiers.
In the second half of the 20th century, cases of rape were documented in more than 20 military and paramilitary conflicts. In the 1990’s, rape was used as an instrument of ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia and as a means of genocide in Rwanda. In the former case, women belonging to subjugated ethnic groups were intentionally impregnated through rape by enemy soldiers; in the latter case, women belonging to the Tutsi Ethic group were systematically raped by HIV-infected men recruited and organized by the Hutu led government.
In the late 20th century, in part because of the prevalence of rape in the Balkan and Rwandan conflicts, the international community began to recognize rape as a weapon and strategy of war, and efforts were made to prosecute such acts under existing international law. The primary statute, Article 27 of the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (1949), already included language protecting women “against any attack on their honor, in particular against rape, enforced prostitution, or any form of indecent assault”, this protection was extended in an additional protocol adopted in 1977.
In 1993 the United (UN) Commission on Human Right (replaced in 2006 by the UN Human Rights Council) declared systematic rape and military sexual slavery to be crimes against humanity punishable as violations of women’s human rights. In 1995 the UN’s Fourth World Conference on Women specified that rape by armed groups during wartime is a war crime. The jurisdiction of the international tribunals established to prosecute crimes committed in the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda both included rape, making these tribunals among the first international bodies to prosecute sexual violence as a war crime. In a landmark case in 1998, the Rwandan tribunal ruled that “rape and sexual violence constitute genocide. The International Criminal Court, established in 1998, subsequently was granted jurisdiction over a range of women’s issues, including rape and forced pregnancy. In a resolution adopted in 2008 the UN security council affirmed that “rape and other forms of sexual violence can constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity or a constitutive act with respect to genocide.”
In 2008 the government of Congo (Kinshasa) and various international organizations increased efforts to combat the country’s rape crisis the continuing use of rape on a massive scale by all sides in the brutal civil war that had begun in 1998. Instruction in forensic techniques and construction of courthouses, legal clinics, and prisons subsequently yielded a substantial increase in arrests, prosecutions, and convictions in Congo. The crisis and its victims—by then more than a quarter of a million women and girls, by some estimates were documented in the 2008 film The Greatest Silence by filmmaker Lisa Jackson.
Rape is considered as one of the most offensive crimes a human can commit.
The impact on rape victims is horrific as it inflicts indelible physical, emotional and mental wounds on them. They have to suffer mental torture without any fault of theirs. They are often looked down in society and their life turns into a living hell.
But what about the culprit? What should be done to the devil who shatters the soul of the victim?
Here are the most brutal rape punishments of different countries around the world-
1. India: Life imprisonment to death sentence
After the Anti Rape Bill of April 2013, culprits are liable to life imprisonment (which is actually 14 years), imprisonment for entire life and even the death sentence in the rarest of rare cases.
2. Pakistan: Death sentence
Gang rape, child molestation and rape are punishable by death. An assault on a woman and intentional display of her body in public view is punishable by death in Pakistan. Statutory rape by a man of a girl under sixteen, especially a gang rape, is punishable by death.
3. China: Death sentence or castration
The sentence for rape in China is death. Castration is also used in some cases.
4. Japan: 20 years to life
Twenty years for the crime of rape. If it is rape or fatal rape at the scene of any other crime like robbery, then death penalty.
5. Saudi Arabia: Beheading within days
The punishment for rape in Saudi Arabia is a public beheading after administering the rapist with a sedative.
6. North Korea: Death by firing squad
North Korea sentences rapists to death by firing squad.
7. Afghanistan: Shot in the head or hanged to death
Rapists in Afghanistan are shot in the head within 4 days or hanged to death depending on the judgement handed out by the court.
8. Egypt: Death by hanging
Egypt is also one of the places that still follows the slightly outdated mode of death by hanging.
9. Iran: Hanged to death
Rapists in Iran are sentenced to death, sometimes by hanging but sometimes allegedly also by stoning.
10. USA: Imprisonment for life
The usual sentence for a convicted rapist here depends on whether the trial falls under state or federal law. In cases under federal law, the punishments can range from a few years to imprisonment for the entirety of the rapist’s life span.
11. Russia: 3 to 20 years
Rapists in Russia are usually sentenced to 3-6 years in prison. The jail term can go up to more than 10 years depending on the situation.
12. Israel: 16 years to life
If someone is convicted of raping a woman, he is liable to be sentenced to 16 years in prison. Their definition of rape is quite inclusive and takes into account other forms of sexual assault.
13 France: 15 years to life
French hands out 15 year sentences for rape, which can be extended to 30 or life depending on the extent of damage and brutality.
14. Norway: 4 to 15 years
Any kind of sexual behaviour without consent falls under the category of rape in Norway, and the perpetrator can be thrown in jail for a period of 4-15 years depending on how heinous the crime was.