Robert Gentel wrote:
Before the thread went off the rails there was the question of punishment brought up, that has had me thinking for the last few days. While recognizing that boys can be abused by women, and that there are clearly cases that merit severe punishment I'm having a harder time reconciling prison time with other cases where the minor does not feel harmed and wondering how that can even be codified.
Any thoughts on this? Do others from the crowd that does recognize the potential for severe abuse have any thoughts on whether all such boundary crossing should be punished with incarceration? And if not, what kind of codification could differentiate between the cases?
I'd certainly not support automatic incarceration.
E.g. Truly consensual sex between a 17 year old and a 15 year old where the age of consent is 16 would make incarceration nuts, in my view.
Not sure what you mean by codification, but there would be a number of things I would be looking at to indicate severity of offence, and thus guide sentencing, eg:
Difference in age and/or relative power.
Whether or not the adult in question has a relationship with the minor that carries a special duty of care...eg parent, carer, counsellor, minister, teacher etc.
Threats or inducements or violence.
Grooming and planning.
Length of abuse.
Whether offender came forward, or confessed upon confrontation, saving victim the extreme trauma of a trial...(though this is a tough one and I am undecided..nobody wants to see an innocent person pleading guilty out of fear.)
I could likely think of many more...but these are some of the biggies.
I am not sure you can give too much rigidity to the law around sentencing.....while not doing so gives a lot of leeway for judicial ignorance or prejudices, however, being very rigid in determining mandatory sentence lengths or types for particular crimes in my view does not allow for sufficient sensitivity to the circumstances of each case.
Research tends to support the issues I have named as tending to lead to more damage down the track, but I have no doubt that the factors that lead to greater damage will become more and more refined down the track.
Thing is, each kid is different, in terms of their resilience etc., of course.
But, overall, kids who have already been unlucky in their circumstances, and are therefore already not doing too well, tend to be at greater risk of abuse...a powerful risk factor being having a parent/s who was/were sexually abused themselves as children