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Even though these incidents are considered crimes, very few women disclose them to the police. (Brody, 2011). For instance, the author describes a situation in which she was sexually harassed at age 11 but was unable to tell anyone about it. When she was 11 years old, a neighbor compelled her to touch his genitalia. She was terrified and kept it a secret from her parents because she had no idea about reproduction. There is increased education and publicity on sexual harassment which is meant to inform people what to do when they fall victims.
Cases of rape are usually treated differently, and the victims are always on trial. Among the victims of rape, very few report to the legal authorities. Unfortunately, even the few casualties who report end up being victims of an unfair court ruling (Brody, 2011). Some are seen as character assassins and termed as liars for reporting their employers at work. When people in power sexually assault women, and they happen to report the issues, they are called liars. At times they are seen as enemies sent by opponents to ruin another person's reputation. It could be possible that a person wrongfully accuses another of rape or sexual harassment, but this should not be used most cases to victimize the victims further (Brody, 2011).
Using DNA as evidence of completed sexual activity could be of help in a court of law as it is proof that the accused is guilty (Brody, 2011). However, in such cases, the accused always defend themselves by claiming that the sexual act was consensual. Dealing with such a situation becomes difficult, and most of the time the victims of sexual assault lose the case (Brody, 2011). These scenarios make underreporting of rape and sexual assault common. Majority of women sexually assaulted by acquaintances, domestic partners or close relatives fail to report since the court would rule in favor of the accused if they happen to say that the act was consensual. For this reason, rapists always get away with their evil deeds as the victims are left more victimized instead of getting help from local authorities (Brody, 2011).
Sexual misconduct refers to any sexual activity that takes place without the parties agreeing to it. Sexual activity must be entirely consensual with the victims in a good state of mind; otherwise, it is termed as sexual misconduct. Sexual misconduct may include unwanted sexual touching, rape, and statutory rape, among others. Regarding gender, women happen to fall victims of sexual misconduct than men. Some employees take advantage of women who they think are weak and harass them sexually. When they are reported to legal authorities, they claim that the victims consented to the sexual act. In this way, the victims are never helped, and more people take advantage of the fact that they can always go to court and defend themselves by word of mouth. As a result, more women continue falling victims of sexual misconduct and do not report (Karmen, 2015).
According to (Karmen, 2015), sexual harassment is any form of unwanted sexual activity that causes discomfort, hostile or intimidating environment for the victim. Women are prone to be victims of sexual harassment than men. However, most women are victims of sexual harassment by people they know while few of them are sexually harassed by strangers (Karmen, 2015). On the other hand, most men fall victims of sexual harassment by strangers rather than people they know. Sexual harassment among women is less reported since victimization occurs by people who are close to the victims. As a result, underreporting leads to more cases of sexual harassment victimization.
Both men and women are at risk of being sexually harassed. However, women fall victims of such crimes than men. Just like any other crime, sexual harassment or misconduct should be reported, and legal action applied to the criminals. However, incidents of rape or sexual assault are often treated differently, and victims are always put on trial. Most of the time the evidence presented in court against criminals is nullified with claims that the victims consented to the sexual acts (Karmen, 2015). The victimized people then become victims of unfair judgment and therefore fail to report any other cases of sexual misconduct and harassment. Underreporting of sexual harassment is common in men than the female victims. In women, underreporting of sexual misconduct occurs mainly among females who were victimized by domestic partners or acquaintances (Karmen, 2015).
Brody, J. E. (2011, December 12). The Twice-Victimized of Sexual Assault. Retrieved October 26, 2017, from The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/13/health/the-twice-victimized-of-sexual-assault.html
Karmen, A. (2015). Crime Victims: An Introduction to Victimology (9th ed.). Boston: Cengage.
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