Child sex abuse vs. statutory rape.

Discussion in 'English Only' started by DavideV, Oct 15, 2010.

  1. DavideV

    DavideV Senior Member

    Roma
    Italian
    Hi all,

    BBC website reports the news of a boy charged of sexual offence over two girls of 13 and 15 and then jailed. Reading that news I discovered that a "sex offender register" exists in some countries such as US and UK. I've searched on the net to get further more information about it and then I came at the related wikipedia page where a sex offender is told to be

    "a person who has committed a sex crime. What constitutes a sex crime differs by culture and by legal jurisdiction, but offenses usually include child sexual abuse, downloading child pornography, rape, and statutory rape."

    Now, what's the difference between the two underlined offences? Is it just an age difference?

    Thanks,
    Davide.
     
  2. sedecrem Senior Member

    Spanish Spain
    statutory rape: to have a sexual relation with someone under the age of consent (that person, child, can not legally give his/her consent to sex, although he/she can "consent" to sex)
    it is clear?
     
  3. DavideV

    DavideV Senior Member

    Roma
    Italian
    I know that "statutory rape" means "sexual relation with an under-aged", but to me it seems that also "child sex abuse" means to have "sexual relation with an under-aged". There must be a nuance I'm not just being able to catch.
     
  4. boozer Senior Member

    Bulgaria
    Bulgarian
    If I'm not mistaken, "a statutory rape" is having sex with a minor. Now, the minor may have consented to this, but in certain legal systems (in my country for instance) minors simply do not have the legal capacity to consent. So the law sees this as a rape although the minor has actually agreed to have sex.

    For me child sex abuse is more sordid than that...
     
  5. miss.meri91

    miss.meri91 Senior Member

    Durban, South Africa
    English - South Africa
    I think boozer's partly got it, but from my understanding the difference is quite clear:

    Statutory rape - raping a minor. i.e. sexual intercourse takes place, without the permission of the minor.

    Child sex abuse - sexual interactions with a minor (not necessarily the sexual act in which penetration occurs, but which involves all/any other aspects of sex such as oral sex etc).

    This is my own knowledge though, adapted from boring grade 9 Life Orientation lessons...
     
  6. sedecrem Senior Member

    Spanish Spain
    You have explained it much better than me, boozer
     
  7. boozer Senior Member

    Bulgaria
    Bulgarian
    Thanks, Miss Mary, but I tend to slightly differ here. The red part is not necessarily true. The minor may well have given his/her consent but the law ignores that because she/he is below the age of consent.
     
  8. miss.meri91

    miss.meri91 Senior Member

    Durban, South Africa
    English - South Africa
    Fair play boozer, I overlooked that :)
     
  9. DavideV

    DavideV Senior Member

    Roma
    Italian
    Ok, many thanks guys!
     
  10. WyomingSue Senior Member

    Cheyenne, WY
    English--USA
    An example of statutory rape according to the law would be a 19 year old boy (man) who has a 17 year old girlfriend. They may both be having sex willingly for months, but because she is under-age he could be charged with statutory rape.
     
  11. DavideV

    DavideV Senior Member

    Roma
    Italian
    Uhm... I found this definition from Rape Crisis Center of Central New Mexico:

    Rape is defined as unwanted penetration, whether that is oral, anal, or vaginal. Sexual assault refers to any unwanted sexual contact, including fondling and molestation.
     
  12. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    Davide - that is the common/standard definition of rape - it includes the unwillingness of the victim. That is why there is a special term "statutory" rape. Even if they are both willing, there are statutes (laws) that make the act(s) illegal if one is under the legal age. Hence the term "statutory". I'm not sure what the situation is if both are below the age and both are willing.
     
  13. DavideV

    DavideV Senior Member

    Roma
    Italian
    Ok now I got. A statutory rape is said to be unwanted not because of an assault but because, as under-aged, one is supposed to not really know what's his or her will about sexual behavior. Did I get it now?
     
  14. Hermione Golightly Senior Member

    SW London
    British English



    David

    It would be very interesting to have a link to the BBC source. There have been a number of very troubling cases of rape recently It would help to know exactly which case you are referring to, for two reasons of differing importance, although I am not sure if this is really a language question rather than a purely legal one.

    On the language side: you talk about ' a boy'. What do you mean by 'a boy', or, what did the BBC report mean by 'a boy'. How old was he?

    Rape in the UK means non -consensual oral, vaginal, or anal penetration by a penis. Non consensual also involves people who are legally "of the age of consent" (which in fact means ages of consent), but are incapable of giving "informed consent", the mentally handicapped for example, of any age, which might incidentally include the accused, of either sex .

    We rarely talk about "statutory" rape in the UK, compared with how much it is mentioned in USA reports.

    Hermione
     
  15. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Statutory rape has a very precise legal definition.

    Child sexual abuse may also have a precise legal definition. I don't think it has, but if it has it is not identical to statutory rape.

    The Wiki article is listing examples.
     
  16. DavideV

    DavideV Senior Member

    Roma
    Italian
    @ Hermione:

    Here is the BBC News. Actually, the news never reports the "rape" term, but it simply says that this 23-years-old dance teacher from Blackburn was found guilty of engaging sexual activities with underage girls (13 and 15). One of them got even pregnant, so I think that it's an overall statement to say that he had raped some girls and abused others...

    I found the "statutory rape" term while searching on the net for the "sex offenders registry", that doesn't exist in Italy.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2010
  17. LilithE Junior Member

    Croatian
    This is a purely legal question. Although the laws in different countries aren't the same, some basic elements are probably similar. Different terminology refers primarly to the definition of a child/minor in these cases. I'll explain you on the exaple of my country ( I am not familiar with the law details of the other countries) which doesn't have to be the same in other parts but you'll have a rough idea.
    0-14 - a child
    14-16 - young minor
    16-18 -older minor
    18-21 -young adult
    21+ - adult
    Any sexual contact with a person/child younger than 14 would be treated as child abuse. The exception would be cases like 2 13-year-old kids since they can't be legally resposible.
     
  18. Nunty

    Nunty Modified

    Jerusalem
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    Another point to be made is that "statutory rape" is not limited to adult-child sex. Statutory rape is defined as sexual acts with a person who cannot legally give consent. That group includes children, the mentally disabled, people in comas, and even, in some cases, people who are too intoxicated to consent to sexual relations.
     

Share This Page