Sexual Violence: Policies, Practices, and Challenges in the United States and Canada

Sexual Violence: Policies, Practices, and Challenges in the United States and Canada

Sexual Violence: Policies, Practices, and Challenges in the United States and Canada

Sexual Violence: Policies, Practices, and Challenges in the United States and Canada

Synopsis

Evaluates and critically assesses current criminal justice responses, policies, and practices regarding sexual violence in the United States and Canada.

Excerpt

Sexual violence is a significant social and cultural problem within both Canadian and American society. Within the United States in 1999, 89,107 rapes were reported to the police resulting in a rate of 32.7 rapes per 100,000 persons (FBI 2000). Statistics from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) within the United States reveal that 141,000 completed rapes and 60,000 attempted rapes occurred in 1999 for a total of 201, 000 rape case (BJS 2000). Survey data from the National Violence Against Women Survey (NVAW) supported that 1 in every six women within the United States has experienced either a completed or attempted rape at some point in their lifetime (Tjaden and Thoennes 1998). Based on data from the Canadian Violence Against Women Survey conducted in 1993 by Statistics Canada, 6 percent of women reported experiencing a sexual assault as defined by the criminal code (Johnson 1996; Bontà and Hanson 1994). Findings from the same survey revealed that more than one-third of women reported experiencing a sexual assault at some point during their lifetime. Within both American and Canadian society, rape constitutes an experience that touches the lives of many individuals, both at some point during a lifetime and during any given year.

The prevalence and incidence of sexual violence in the lives of women produces social, physical, and psychological effects that often persist for years af-

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