If you’re wondering why sex crimes are so difficult to solve, you’re not alone. The statistics are grim. Only seven percent of reported rapes are solved by police. The reason for this low conviction rate may be a lack of cooperation from victims, or an insufficient budget and manpower. In addition, some police consider sex crimes a low-prestige assignment and don’t invest much time in them.
Regardless of the cause, rapes remain a thorny problem for police. In fact, a Justice Department study from 1990 to 2009 found that conviction rates for rapes are at around 35 percent. In other words, rape convictions are equivalent to 0.8% of all assaults. Nevertheless, it is difficult to solve rapes in the United States. However, some recent developments are changing this dynamic.
Because rape and sexual assault are serious crimes, there are still many victims who don’t report them. The National Sexual Violence Resource Center, a nonprofit in Harrisburg, Pa., reviewed national studies and data from the U.S. Department of Justice, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and academic legal research. It found that less than five percent of victims report rape or sexual assault to the police. Further, many survivors may feel that reporting the crime will have no benefit, and they aren’t aware of their rights.
The problem arises when there is no clear evidence of the crime. During trial, the prosecution must establish the facts beyond a reasonable doubt. In the case of rape, the burden of proof is high, with the help of two or more witnesses. Additionally, a defendant can use one of three defenses: “there was no penetration,” “sex was consensual” or “consensual” (both parties consented). These defenses are rarely used, and are used only in cases where the victim has no memory of the incident.
The process of deciding whether a person was guilty or innocent involves social structures that shape the victim’s experience. While the victim is expected to tell the truth, the court may be misled by the psychological consequences. The jury may have a difficult time accepting a guilty verdict. Therefore, legal reforms should focus on the needs of the victim. A victim should receive legal support and be able to communicate their needs and desires with the court.
In addition to the psychological effects, rape victims have a number of medical and emotional needs. Medical treatment should include treatment for injuries and prophylaxis for STIs. Psychological support should also be available. Victims often feel shame and blame themselves for the crime. Many victims don’t want to talk about the incident or even discuss the details of their rape. So, it’s crucial to understand that victims have different needs and may require special treatment in order to recover from the trauma.
Sexual violence has a significant impact on communities. Not only does it cause pain for the victim, but it also damages the fabric of a community. Neighborhoods, schools, and workplaces may be racked by disbelief and fear. It can also lead to high medical costs and legal expenses for the community. Additionally, sexual violence can cause loss of productivity and contribution by victims. So, the question is, why are sex crimes so difficult to solve?