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Sex Offenders in the Criminal Justice System - Essay Example

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Summary
Visiting sexual violent treatment center is a challenging issue as it is difficult to figure out how to behave oneself and communicate to victims. Moreover, sexual violence is a taboo topic in society in most cases which means that people are not prone to discuss it freely even with the closest people. …
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Sex Offenders in the Criminal Justice System
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Visiting sexual violent treatment center is a challenging issue as it is difficult to figure out how to behave oneself and communicate to victims. Moreover, sexual violence is a taboo topic in society in most cases which means that people are not prone to discuss it freely even with the closest people. The attitude to victims of sexual violence is ambivalent in the world because some people seem to justify offenders more eagerly than to feel compassion to victims. Women that become victims of sexual violence are very different: some of them are very young and naive others are much older and more experienced. Some of them become victims of family members, friends, colleagues, acquaintances, others become accidental objects of incontrollable marginal personalities and a big number of women suffer from home violence from partners and husbands.
The victim I was talking to was a young college girl in her twenties. She was studying at the college when sexual assault happened and that prevented her from continuing her study. The things that she told me were very intimate and painful to her obviously .But after some time spent at the center she learned how to pull herself together and talk patiently and rationally. Now she feels comfortable speaking about sexual violence and uses her experience as the means to help others. I will not write the exact question as they are clear from the answers. The interview resembled a narration as the interviewee chose herself what she wanted to share with and what not.
The perpetrator
As many victims of sexual violence she knew the perpetrator personally through mutual friends before the incident. The perpetrator was physically strong, open-minded and confident. The acquaintance was brief and superficial nevertheless. He was older and more experienced than her and was paying her several compliments and smiling during the evening before the sexual assault.
The sexual assault
On the day of the incident they were at the party at their friends` house and the girl was invited to stay overnight. After going to bed late in one of the rooms the victim was woken up by the man`s voice who was ordering her to lay still and the hand that was stopping her mouth. He raped her very quickly repeating that she wanted it herself and ordered not to tell anyone.
The emotional reaction to the situation
First reaction to what was happening was confusion and fear. The victim says that she was even afraid to scream because she did not want to wake up others. The shock from what was happening combined with confusion and that let the perpetrator take advantage over the situation. Soon after the rape the girl felt embarrassment and instant self-blame because she allowed that happen. Anger and frustration led to subsequent depression when the victim could not figure out what to do in several weeks.
Her actions
Shame was predominant feeling that haunted the victim in the next couple of weeks. She could not share her story with her close relatives and friends in fear of being judged for promiscuity. She admits that her self-esteem was ruined and she did not want to make things even worse and feared publicity. She also did not address the police as she did not want be interrogated. The perpetrator vanished from her life but psychological and physiological problems kept progressing
Further problems
The main problem that the victim had to face was her severe depression. She soon felt disinterested in her life and college and became very reclusive. She blamed herself for everything and could not get out of the vicious circle of self-blame, anger, frustration, and depression. Now she understands that the lack of life experience, inadequate self-esteem, and poor knowledge of the nature of sexual violence led to those consequences. The victim metaphorically described her major feeling of that period as falling apart that is why she started thinking about suicide. And that was the point when she decided that she needed professional help.
Actions
Devastated and hollow inside the girl first addressed to her close friend whom she trusted for years and the friend helped her to cope with primary emotions from confession. After consultation she was recommended to spend some time at sexual violence treatment center. Here she stared coming back to life slowly. She realized that it was normal for a victim of sexual assault to have all the emotions she had. With the help of group therapy she learned how to speak about the rape using right medical terms and express her feelings without shame. She also realized that very different women can become victims of sexual assault and that gave her strength. Now she understands the nature of her emotional state and knows the mechanisms which help her to deal with it.
Plans
The girl is planning to dedicate part of her life to studying the issue of sexual violence closely and helping the victims. A case against the rapist was initiated couple of days ago and that also encourages the girl. Read More
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