Third of women say there are varying degrees of rape

(99 Posts)

..and that it isn't rape if the victim doesn't fight back.

Article here

How on earth do people still believe this kind of crap?? How do we change it?

Because we are socialised to think of "rape" as being a stranger dragging an innocent women down an ally and forcing her, despite her struggles.

We are not socialised to think of coercion into having sex or a partner starting to have sex on someone when they are sleeping as rape.

It's only when people describe their experiences to others that they realise that they had sex to which they didn't consent, the definition of which is rape.

Because believing there are different degrees doesn't make it true. And it's wrong that so many rapists get away with it because people have been convinced that sex without consent is ever anything other than rape.

ModeratelyObvious Mon 16-Sep-13 19:27:04

A child might not understand they were abused until they are an adult and describe what happened in their family to someone else. Doesn't mean they weren't.

Some people think that if, say. your DP has a key to your house and takes something of yours, it isn't theft cos they had keys. They are wrong (confusing an insurance claim basis with a criminal claim, I think)

So whilst it's not surprising people think that way, they are still wrong!

JoTheHot Mon 16-Sep-13 20:02:39

There are different degrees of a rape. The UK doesn't explicitly split offences into sub-categories, in the way the US does, but some rapes are nonetheless seen as more serious than others. Rapes with pre-meditated intent, for instance, will be given longer sentences. Conversely, recent prior consensual sexual activity may reduce the sentence.

ModeratelyObvious Mon 16-Sep-13 20:04:57

Hi Jo

Have you got some examples?

Thanks.

NiceTabard Mon 16-Sep-13 20:17:28

In England and Wales this is the rape law:

"A person (A) commits an offence if—
(a)he intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of another person (B) with his penis,
(b)B does not consent to the penetration, and
(c)A does not reasonably believe that B consents.
(2)Whether a belief is reasonable is to be determined having regard to all the circumstances, including any steps A has taken to ascertain whether B consents."

A case may have factors which are considered as aggravating / additional offences, or mitigating.

However the law on rape is very very very simple. It is penetration without consent.

HTH.

Jo that's not degrees of rape that's a judge making a sentencing decision. What you seem to be suggesting is that if a woman is raped by a partner she loves and trusts, that's less serious? I'm afraid I can't agree.

CaptChaos Mon 16-Sep-13 22:45:22

Jo the fact that a judge, who is overwhelmingly likely to be male, decides what cursory sentence a man who, by some miracle, is convicted of rape gets, based on nothing more than their personal opinions, doesn't constitute any kind of statutory degrees of rape. In fact, all it serves to do is reinforce rape myths and make it even less likely that women will come forward IMO, as the risible sentence a man who has severely traumatised a woman by raping her gets makes it look less worth the extra pain and heartbreak of going through with a trial.

Just to recap. Rape is rape is rape. It really is THAT simple.

jo Again, the variation on sentencing will be because of taking into account whether there are additional crimes.

This happens with every crime.

So rape + assault will likely get longer than rape on it's own.

This doesn't mean there are different levels of rape.

JoTheHot Tue 17-Sep-13 09:43:15

Variation in sentencing does not merely take into account other crimes. It also takes into account factors such as pre-meditation. This is not something I'm suggesting, nor is this just at the whim of the judge. It is laid out in the statutory guidelines:
sentencingcouncil.judiciary.gov.uk/docs/web_SexualOffencesAct_2003.pdf

Both legally, and in the prevailing moral view of the UK public, some rapes are more serious than others, i.e. they are of different degrees. Personally, I think a pre-meditated rape, where there is a prior intent to do deliberate harm, is a factor which makes a rape more serious. I appreciate all rapes are serious, and that not everyone shares my view.

Planning a crime is a crime in it's own right, you are still talking about additional things on top of the rape.

ModeratelyObvious Tue 17-Sep-13 10:04:44

Jo

Presumably the same is true of, say, GBH. - premeditation of breaking someone's arm would increase the sentencing (as would prior offences vs first offence etc I guess) - but people don't talk about degrees of GBH.

arsenaltilidie Tue 17-Sep-13 10:05:37

The 'varying degrees of rape' is question that's focusing on the victim again. It's dangerous because it sends the wrong message to women in abusive relationship.

Rape is rape and should be treated so because the perpetrators' motive are almost always the same.
The guy in the alley or the boyfriend raping his GF will have the same motive of getting sexual gratification at all costs.
Therefore should be treated the same.

people don't talk about degrees of GBH

No indeed. And perpetrators of GBH don't get lighter sentences because they've had a 'consensual fight' with that person before.

"Degrees of rape" is just a way of trying to identify how much society thinks the victim probably deserved what happened to her.

CaptChaos Tue 17-Sep-13 12:30:09

"Degrees of rape" is just a way of trying to identify how much society thinks the victim probably deserved what happened to her

^

This a million times.

JoTheHot Tue 17-Sep-13 18:47:12

'Planning a crime is a crime in it's own right' - Are you sure? This doesn't seem right to me. If you plan a rape, but never attempt it or do anything by way of preparation, I can't see what you can be convicted of.

People do talk about degrees of rape. See the OP and the linked article.

The 'varying degrees of rape' is a question that's focusing on the rapist and his actions. "Degrees of rape" is just a way of trying to identify how much society thinks the rapist is despicable.

I meant it in terms of it's considered an additional crime.

We know people talk about degrees of rape. Thing is that they are wrong.

ModeratelyObvious Tue 17-Sep-13 18:53:24

Jo

Why don't people talk about degrees of GBH, do you think?

CaptChaos Tue 17-Sep-13 21:16:00

Planning a crime can be a crime in its own right. A person can be convicted of conspiracy to murder when they haven't killed and conspiracy to commit various terrorist offences.

SinisterSal Tue 17-Sep-13 21:23:45

Rape has nothing to do with fists or boots or Rohypnol or anything. That'd be assault.
You can be assaulted without being raped, or vice versa, or both.

It may devastate you or merely irritate you, that's not the defining factor.

BasilBabyEater Tue 17-Sep-13 21:23:45

I'm astonished that in this day and age when information is readily available, people can so confidently assert that "obviously" it's worse to be gang raped than raped by a partner.

It's not for anyone else to decide which rape victims should feel more traumatised by their rape than others, and anyway they're wrong. Knowing that you were in the wrong place at the wrong time and just had a stroke of ill luck in meeting a rapist, can be much easier to come to terms with with the right support, than being left with a feeling that if he can do this, then any man can. The actual fear and terror of being attacked by a stranger may be worse, but the psychological recovery from that, may be quicker and more complete than the psychological fuck-up of having had your sense of safety and belief in your ability and right to set boundaries and have them respected, utterly destroyed by a man you trusted. Some rape victims are more damaged by the violence at the time; some by the psychological destruction afterwards; our job as reasonable human beings, is to listen to them and honour what they say, not tell them how much trauma their rape qualifies them to feel, FFS.

It's so irritating to read such ill-informed crap being asserted so confidently. Sorry to be tetchy, but really - rape is one of those subjects, like teaching and breastfeeding, that any random feels qualified to talk crap about in a way they don't feel they could about quantum physics. It's just so annoying.

SinisterSal Tue 17-Sep-13 21:27:08

Plus the fact that you not even feel entitled to your feelings Basil. The world tells you of course he didn't rape you in your sleep, he's your husband!
So something must be wrong with you to feel so traumatised. You crazy bitch, etc

BasilBabyEater Tue 17-Sep-13 21:37:28

Absolutely - attention seeker, drama queen, taking away from real victims etc.

It's just awful.

MatildaWhispers Wed 18-Sep-13 00:12:45

Plus the fact that with a partner, because some women don't feel entitled to those feelings, they can then end up being raped numerous times.

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