The SEXUAL ABUSE OF CHILDREN
(Resumé from:(Jessy Bass Inc., San Francisco, 1988, Jeffrey J: Haugaard – N. Dickson Reppolci) Both primitive and mordern cultures have passed strong penalties against breaking the prohibitions against the sexual abuse of children. Ancient ROMAN LAW used the concept of “patria protestas” to father the complete power, including the right to commit infanticide and to sell his children into slavery. A lot of documents prove the fact that in Ancient GREECE and ROME sexual use of the children in some form was prevalent. In Old CHINA, the blind girls were officially brought up in prostitution. In 1722, the British monarch was given the “parens patriae” power, the obligation to defend the rights of “children, idiots and lunatics” who were incapable of protecting themselves. Current laws in the U.S.A. that grant the State the power to pretect children and to intervene in the family, are based on this “parens patriae” concept.. KRAFT-EBING’s book that was named “Psychopathia Sexualis” (1886) and FREUD’s writings on “Infantile Sexuality” that primarily was focused on discussion on “incest fantasies” by females endured that most reports were considered as just that fantasy. Since 1950’s, most cases began to be publicized, particularly after a 1949 sex murder of a child in California, by a sexual psychopath; special laws has passed immediately. Although psychiatrists encouraged re-labiling sexual psychopaths to empasize the idea of p e r p e t r a t o r s as patiens, in California they were termed “mentally disorders sex offenders”. In 1970’s, the advocates for children and feminist groups helped the public and the professionals aware of child sexual abuse. The label “CHİLD SEXUAL ABUSE” first appeared in the Federal (Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act” of 1974. Henry GIARRETTE, a California psychiatrist; and Vincnet DE FRANCIS, a social worker – lawyer had played quite important the boradening the federal definition of “cild abuse”, including“sex abuse”. Since 1974, there had been an explosion of interest in, and concern of c h i l d a b u s e of all types. In 1984, the issue of “sexual abuse” was dramatically brought to the public’s attention with the arrest in Manhattan Beach, california of Virginia McMARTIN and siz of the employees for sexual abuse of 125 children in a Day Care Center in 10 years.
D e f i n i t i o n a l S t a n d a r d s :
GARBARINO and GILLIAM suggested that ‘abusiveness’ should be determined by using such factors,
1) Intention of the a c t o r,
2) The act’s effect upon the r e c i p i e n t,
3) An observer’s “v a l u e j u d g e m e n t s” about the act,
4) The s o u r c e o f t h e s t a n d a r d for that judgment. They also propose, that “intention be used” to discriminate between,
(a) a c t s p e r f o r m e d for the sexual stimulation of the offender, and,
(b) a c t s p e r f o r m e d simply to convey feelings of affection. FINKELHOR considered three standards that influence of the definition of a b u s e,
1) The c o n s e n t standard, 2) The report of the v i c t i m, 3) The c o m m u n i t y standard – that is the most critical. Probably, “stimulating an adult” is such a vague definition that is impossible to list every conceivable act either abusive or not. R e s e a r c h D e f i n i t i o n s : FINKELHOR and all. define and classifiy in different ways: (a) C o n t a c t abuse (İntercourse, oral anad anal sex, fondling of breast and genitals),
(b) N o n – C o n t a c t abuse (Encounter with the exhibitionists and solicitating in sexual activity). Another definitional criterion is the i n c l u s i o n or e x c l u s i o n of peers, or perpetrators. Thus, for r e s e a r c h purposes, 3 distinct groups may be recognized:
a) Child under 12 y. of age , with an adult 18+,
b) Child under 12 y. of age, with an adult under 18 (at least 5 years older),
c) Adolescent (13-16 years) with an adult (at least 5+ years older).
L e g a l D e f i n i t i o n s :
There are four legal conditions - s t a t u e s :
1) SEX OFFENSE STATUES - “Sexual activity with children by adults is crime in every state of the Union.” Until late 1800’s, “carnal knowledge”, “carnal abuse”, or “sexual intercourse”, referred to the prohibition of sex with females under the age of “ten”. By 1950’s and 1960’s, age had been raised to “seventeen” in several states. 42 States and 2 Territories explicitly define “deviate sexual intercourse” as “anal and oral intercourse” (fellatio). In State of Washingron (D.C.), intercourse with a child “under eleven” is criminal, only if the perpetrator is “older than 13”. With a child 11, 12, 13, for a criminal act, the perpetrator has to be over 16 years of age. With a child 14, 15, for a criminal act, the perpetrator has to be over 18 years of age.
C o n s e n t i n g i n t e r c o u r s e, may be specifically prohibited if the adult is a parent or legal guardian, custodian, someone acting in LOCO PARENTS, a relative, a household member, or a person in a position of authority of the child, such as a teacher. Confusion: Some states still use the term of “carnal knowledge” without defining them; other states specifically state the “organs considered intimate” and prohibit touching them, or covering them directly. 2) INCEST STATUES – All States except NEW JERSEY have incest kaws. There, sex is prohibited only between “blood relatives”, thus viewing i n c e s t as posing primarily a biological threat. Many States had changed it, however, NEW HAMPSHIRE, OHIO and VERMONT, have repealed their incestious provisions, and therefore do not have laws that specifically cover the sexual abuse of children. These States do prohibit sexual intercourse between adult relatives and children in their general criminal statues regarding sexual offenders. In 15 States , i n c e s t is still a crime a crime only between b l o o d r e l a t i v e s.
Penalties: from 1 y. to 10 years, fines: from $500 – $150,000.
In VIRGINIA, “incest” is consıdered as “misdemanour”, 1-10 y. in prison, less than $1,ooo
Fine. It is “Class 5 Felony”, if it is done to daughter, grand-daughter, son, grand-son, father and mother. Prison term: 1 – 10 years in prison.
It is “Class 3 Felony”, if is done by a parent to a child, the age between 13-15. Prison term 5 – 20 years in prison. There, intercourse with an older child, is a more serious crime.
3) CHİLD PROTECTION STATUS : A Child Protection proceeding can be brought against the “passive parent” as well as the “abusive parent”, if the passive parent fails to prevent the abuse from occurring.
Example: S u l t a n vs. C o m m o n w e a l t h o f V i r g i n i a (1985) case:
The conviction of a woman as a principal in the second degree in the rape of her niece, who was living with her. Husband was upheld because the woman had encouraged her niece have sex her husband and later had threatened her, if she did not do it. Although the woman was not present physically during the intercourse, her “constructive presence” had been established to the court’s satisfaction. N a t i o n a l I n c i d e n c e S t u d y suggests that professionals report only about 33 0/0 of the cases. Many people justify not reporting on the grounds of n o t b e i n g c e r t a i n of diagnosis. 4) A fourth type of “Statue”, regarding DOMESTIC VIOLENCE and SEXUAL PSYCHOPATHS, may ve involved to protect children from i n t r a – f a m i l i a r s e x u a l a b u s e S u m m a r y :
Laws, concerning sexual abuse, can be considered as REFLECTIONS OF COMNMUNITY STANDARDS and therefore can provide some useful guidelines for definitions of sexual abuse.
The criteria that most legal definitions depend on tend to be the age of the child and the perpetrator, and the type of act. However, wide variations exist from state to state, especially in regard to specific acts are defined as constituting s e x u a l a b u s e . In general, children under the age of 18 protected from sexual activity (with a parent, orAnyone who is in a parental or custodial position).
Children, the ages between 13-14, tend to be protected from sexual activity, with (anyone +3 or more years older than they are). Children, younger than 13 years of age, are protected (from all sexual activity). Children who are 14 or older, tend to be protected (from sexual activity with someone other than a custodial fighure only if they do not consent to the sexual activity.) Prof. Dr.Ismail Ersevim, M.D.