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Why does the U.S. jail child rape victims?

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ccharles000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 06:36 PM
Original message
Why does the U.S. jail child rape victims?
U.S. citizens condemn Middle Eastern countries for jailing rape victims but our justice system does that every day. Here, the average age a girl becomes a prostitute is 12-14, and the average age for boys is 11-13 (http://www.usdoj.gov/criminal/ceos/prostitution.html ). Child prostitutes are victims of statutory rape, yet a perversion of the law says that when a rapist pays money to rape a child the child becomes a criminal who can be arrested, prosecuted, humiliated by the justice system and imprisoned no matter how young they are. They have suffered enough; these children dont deserve to be punished for being raped.

Strangely, anti-trafficking laws grant more protection to foreigners raped in the United States than to our own citizens. For example, if a 12-year-old Sudanese girl is trafficked into the United States and forced to work in a New Jersey brothel the law would not view her as a prostitute. They would classify her as a sex slave. The police would give her federal protection under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000. In contrast, a 12-year-old U.S. citizen forced to work in the same brothel would be treated like a criminal, thrown in jail, probably fined and get a criminal record.

The documentary Very Young Girls about underage prostitutes in New York documents the case of an underage prostitute named Nicole who was jailed for being raped:

Nicole: I got off the train cause the other train wasnt working and I was walking. Some dude came up and said, Well, Ill give you a ride. He was driving to Queens and I told him to stop. He wouldnt stop. When he opened the door I was trying to run out but the pimp grabs me and he put me in the house. He says if I tell anyone hes gonna get somebody to kill me.

Natalie : She said that she was with the pimp for four or five days. During the course of those four or five days she was forced to have sex with 30 men. The day that she was arrested she was 14. In any other situation she would be too young to consent to sex. To have her charged on prostitution charges is a little absurd.

Nicoless mother: Shes treated like a criminal after all the stuff that happened to her. Instead of them taking her to the hospital, they took her to the jailhouse.

The reason our country punishes girls for being raped is the same reason Middle Eastern countries jail rape victims: because we live in a patriarchy that treats males as superior to females. The vast majority of child prostitutes are girls and most boy prostitutes are raped as girls. Femaleness is devalued so much society almost always takes the side of the rapist making it very easy for them to rape and escape punishment.

http://community.feministing.com/2009/08/why-does-the-u...
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sasquatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 06:38 PM
Response to Original message
1. This is sad on so many fronts
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MercutioATC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 06:44 PM
Response to Original message
2. Interesting take.
Somebody under the age of consent cannot legally consent to sex.

Therefore, underage prostitutes cannot have legally consented to having sex...and, by extension, cannot be charged with prostitution.


There MUST be case law on this defense, but I've never seen it.
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Thothmes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 06:53 PM
Response to Original message
3. Change you can believe in?
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ccharles000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 07:10 PM
Response to Original message
4. kick
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imdjh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 07:28 PM
Response to Original message
5. In the middle east , real rape victims are punished along with real rapists.
Edited on Sat Aug-08-09 07:29 PM by imdjh
There is no statutory to mix in there. Statutory rape is consensual sex- real rape isn't consensual. In the US if Sara is forced to have sex by the garbage man, he goes to jail, she doesn't. In Sharia law countries, Sara goes to jail too.

Statutory rape is called statutory for a reason. Underage girls who are being forced to be sex slaves by a master are not victims of statutory rape, they are victims of actual rape. Underaged girls and boys who are turning tricks for cash, fun, or drugs or independence are prostitutes; being under the age of 18 doesn't mean you are unable of making really stupid choices or that you are immune from the law if you do.

This article is either extremely poorly written, or deliberately offensive.
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Hippo_Tron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 07:44 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Do you really think anybody under the age of 18 chooses to be a prostitute?
Edited on Sat Aug-08-09 07:44 PM by Hippo_Tron
And remember that having to do so for financial reasons isn't a choice.
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imdjh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 08:20 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. Yes
And remember that having to do so for financial reasons isn't a choice.

Of course there is a choice.

And yes, I have known teenaged male prostitutes who chose to "pick up some coin" rather than get a real job. One of them is still at it at 50.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 07:47 PM
Response to Original message
7. This is exactly how sex workers are exploited by pimps, fear of getting punished.
:cry:
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Hippo_Tron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 07:50 PM
Response to Original message
8. I have a hard time believing that the charges weren't later dropped
Edited on Sat Aug-08-09 07:50 PM by Hippo_Tron
Sure the police arrest her and charge her before they realize she is 14. But I can't imagine a jury convicting a 14 year old for prostitution or a prosecutor even trying.

Not that I think this is acceptable and IMO if we're going to make prostitution illegal then prosecute the people who hire them.
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madmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 07:54 PM
Response to Original message
9. Back in the 60's my then 15 year old cousin was raped by her father, he was sent to
jail, but she was also sent to a school for girls (reform school) for 5 years. I remember going to visit her with my folks and not getting any answers about why she was there (they kept the details away from me). I was about 10-11. I still don't know why she was there. :cry:
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:06 PM
Response to Original message
11. k i c k
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ccharles000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:30 PM
Response to Original message
12. one more kick
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