Increase UK Minimum Custodial Time For Rape From 5 Years to 15
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With the recent coverage of the Rochdale gang grooming, that occured in 2012, where 9 men were convicted of rape, and sexual exploitation of children, it's about time we find the flaws in our justice system.
Out of the 9 men convicted, only two remain imprisoned. Shabir Ahmed's sentence was and still is 22 years, Mohammed Sajid was sentenced for 12 years. The other 7 men were given a sentence of no more than 5 years. The victims were as young as 13 years old, and were involved in several instances of sexual abuse, involving gang rape.
I wish to stress this enough. Rape is not something that occurs to women only. In fact, in the UK alone, in 2013, there were 9,000 male victims of rape. Yes, statistics do show that women are the victims in about 77% of cases in the UK. I do not want to trivialise rape of either gender, and just want to emphasise that it is not ONLY women affected by these types of crimes. The passing of this new law will be beneficial to victims, no matter of their gender, to find justice in our outdated system.
As of now, by UK law, a single offence of rape to a person aged 16, will only result in a 5 year sentence. 8 years if the victim is over the age of 13 but under 16, and 10 years if the victim is under 13 years old. The current sentence for arson is on average about 5 years. Does that mean we see rape as equal to arson? These people have cruel and manipulative intentions, that seek nothing but sexual gratification, without any care for our laws or the well-being of the people involved.
In 2016, twice the amount of rapes were reported compared to 2015. People are becoming more and more confident to report these crimes, and we are now in a position to do more to encourage more victims to report instances of rape. If justice did not exist, then no crimes would be reported, it's clear that the level of justice is a big influence on whether or not a crime is reported, and so, whether something is done about it.
5 years is not a severe enough punishment for a crime that we as a society value as one of the most inexcusable acts. I ask for the minimum sentence for rape of a 16 year old to be raised to 15 years, and the other minimum sentences for different aged victims raised accordingly.
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