What is Sexual Violence?
Sexual violence is defined as any sexual act, unwanted sexual comments or advances, attempt to obtain a sexual act, or acts to traffic, or otherwise directed, by any person regardless of their relationship to the victim, against a person’s sexuality using coercion, in any setting, including but not limited to home and work.
Sexual violence happens throughout the world. Even though in most countries, there has been little research conducted on this issue, available data suggests in some countries nearly one in four women may experience sexual violence by their intimate partner, and up to one-third of teenage girls report their first sexual experience as being forced. Sexual violence has a deep impact on physical and mental health. As well as causing bodily injury, it is connected with an increased risk of a range of sexual and reproductive health problems, with both direct and long-term consequences. Sexual violence impact on mental health can be as serious as its physical impact and may be equally long-lasting. Deaths following sexual violence may be as a result of suicide, HIV infection or murder – the latter occurring either during a sexual assault or subsequently, as a murder of ‘‘honor’’. Sexual violence can also profoundly affect the social wellbeing of victims; individuals may be ostracized and stigmatized by their families and others as a consequence.
Sexual Violence in Virginia
According to a study, the sexual violence rate in Virginia is 27.6%. Out of 27.6%, the majority were the rape victims. Almost 80% of the victims reported that it happened for the very first time with them. Women who reported sexual violence were between 33 to 44 years old, mostly.
If an accused person does sexual violence on an individual against their will or with force or pressure, or sexually abuses a probationer, or an inmate or an individual noted in Section 18.2-67.4, they may be found guilty of sexual battery, and will receive the punishment of a Class 1 misdemeanor, includes up to twelve (12) months in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500, not more than that.
The aggravated sexual battery contains situations where the complaining witness or a victim is under 13 years of age, the victim’s mental or physical incapacitation is used against them, the offender is a parent, step-parent, grandparent or step-grandparent of a victim 13 or older but under 18, or force or threat are used. The aggravated sexual battery is a felony charge and can lead a victim to a penalty of 1 to 20 years in prison and up to $100,000 in fines, as stated in Virginia Code Section 18.2-67.3.
Sexual battery is a charge in a total of eleven other state(s). The exact definition, charge type, and potential sentencing of this charge varying state to state.