Child sexual abuse also referred to as child molestation is a type of child abuse where an adult or an adolescent uses child for sexual incentive .a child is used for sexual activities without consent and often are shown gentiles, a child may also be used for child pornography. Indecent exposure of body parts are included In this abuse.
Child sexual abuse is a widespread health problem that can seriously damage a child’s mental and physical health, this can occur in many settings. Homes, schools or work places where child labours are employed. Child sexual abuse includes different types of sexual offences against boys and girls of under 16 years of age. Sexual offences committed by blood relatives is referred to as incest. Child sexual abuse can occur in all populations, it can happen to children in all socioeconomic and education levels, mostly the abuse occurs by hands of a person known to the child. Approximately 60% of boys and 40% of girls were abused by the person they knew.
These horrendous acts could leave an everlasting impact on a child’s mind and can cause serious problems for the upcoming future. This often done through exploitation, physical contact between a child and another person this implies that inequality of power among the child and that person leads to these events. Aftermath of child sexual abuse includes depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety,[ complex post-traumatic stress disorder, and tendency to further victimization in adulthood. It is often seen that the victim is acquainted with the sexual offender, a case study showed that 300,000 children were sexually abused in united states in 1993 and this only includes the reported cases. Most of the time these cases are not reported due to the number of factors and this estimation is only one-fifth of true abuse cases. Raising awareness against this is the key to its Prevention, it is crucial that adults and adolescent know that child sexual abuse is a crime and that a child can never consent to sexual activities. Another strategy is to introduce awareness among the parents and schools that protective measures should be taken to avoid this.
It should also be taken into consideration that teaching and educating the child regarding abuse is pivotal to its prevention. A child should be able to distinguish sexual abuse from love and they should know the right way to respond to this. Another important factor that should be dealt with care is when the child discloses abuse, handling this disclosure and assisting the child’s needs are all very significant. Children affected by sexual abuse need psychological assistance as this can leave long-term effects if mental health services are readily provided it becomes less harmful and can ease the consequences. Child sexual abuse prevention programs should also be strengthened and these should focus on helping the children to recognize abuse, talk about it and teach them the safety skills for their personal protection.
VIRGINIA PROSTITUTION AND SOLICITATION LAWS :
The word prostitution possesses the ability to stir controversy whenever it is brought up during a conversation. Prostitution specifically includes indulging in services/favours regarding sex, adultery, and fornication merely in exchange for money or other compensation such as property, drugs etc.
Despite existing for many centuries, it is considered a serious offence in the state of Virginia and regarded as a sex crime and a punishable act. The law does not only apply to the one offering sexual services but also includes the solicitor of such services and the liaison involved between them. If found guilty, the person shall be subjected to several charges and penalties.
Solicitation refers to solicitation of prostitution. It can be defined as the use of any means to promote prostitution in any way or form. It includes directing, supervising and/or heading a prostitution business or owning/renting a house to use it for sexual activities in exchange for money. There are two elements to solicitation.
- The solicitor must encourage and assist someone else to engage in sexual act in return for compensation.
- The solicitor aims to facilitate in the desired crime.
The other punishable crimes in accordance with solicitation are indulging in promotion of prostitution, popularly known as ‘pimping’ and direct involvement in human trafficking. Any person culpable of these crimes will be convicted for serious felony charges.
The state of Virginia has mentioned clear laws regarding prostitution and anyone who’s found to be in clear violation of the law shall be held accountable to a class 1 misdemeanor. The law falls under Virginia Code §18.2-346 -18.2-359. The law states that the person subjected to a class 1 misdemeanor shall remain in county jail for a period of twelve months and must pay a fine of $2500, either, or both.
Once being found guilty on the charges of prostitution, the penalty clearly demands that individual must get a standardized STD test specifically for HIV and HEP B and get assigned proper counseling regarding the risk and spread of infection and the health hazards associated with it. In addition to this the state also promotes mental health counseling among those who supply sexual services for money.
Punishment for solicitation varies widely. It depends if the person has previously been convicted for misdemeanors and/or felonies. Class 6 felony charges are applicable when a person takes commission from the earnings of male/female prostitute, acquire money by putting a person in a place for sexual activities and establish a business out of prostitution by detaining people. If the solicited person is a minor or aged less than 16 years, the charge will be of class 5 felony.
The retribution of class 5 and class 6 felonies can result in a prison sentence of a minimum of one year and as many as five years. The penalty depends upon the discretion of the judge and the presence of previous felony charges. People involved in prostitution and solicitation not only face charges and penalties in court but suffer serious consequences in their personal and professional life. Once it shows on their record, it could seriously harm their reputation.