definition of rape

This word comes from the Latin stuprum and, in turn, from the Greek strophe, which means deception or swindle. In its legal sense, it is a legal figure that applies to a type of sexual crime. Rape basically consists of maintaining sexual contact with a person who has not yet reached the age of majority and resorting to some deception or a certain psychological manipulation of the minor. If we pay attention to its etymology, we could say that the rape is a sexual deception. Therefore, the person who commits this crime is an adult who manipulates a minor to have sexual relations.

For rape to be considered a crime, the person must be an adult and his victim must be a minor. In most cases, this action is accompanied by exploitation by the adult, who sexually abuses the minor using his immaturity.

Rape and rape

Both are sexual crimes, but they are actions that legally have a different valuation. Rape is generally related to the use of violence and in rape there is not always a situation of physical violence, since the minor agrees to maintain intimate relationships after having been deceived. Despite the legal differences between the two concepts, in both cases there is evident sexual abuse.

The historical evolution of the crime of rape

Sex crimes were already contemplated in Roman Law. More than two thousand years ago the Romans had a legal doctrine that already included the variety of crimes with sexual connotations. In this sense, there was adultery, sodomy, rape, and rape. With regard to rape, it originally referred to the sexual abuse of an unmarried woman or even adultery.

Over time, an important legal distinction was introduced: voluntary and violent rape. In the Middle Ages, legal codes punished sexual relations that were practiced through deception (for example, when the man made a false promise of marriage so that the woman had intimate relations). In this way, it can be appreciated that for centuries the crime of rape made reference to some type of deception or abuse in sexual relations. Subsequently, the sexual abuse of the rape made reference to the minority of the victim.

Currently there has been a change in legal terminology in most countries and there is no longer talk of rape but of sexual harassment of minors.

Photos: Fotolia - Bint87 / Svetlana Fedoseeva

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