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Rape refers to a forced sexual intercourse experience. The perpetrator of the vice may be of the same sex as the victim or of the opposite sex. Unlike sexual assault, rape is not a gesture but an act. Sexual assault refers to victimizations that entail unwanted sexual gestures. Rape constitutes a social menace and results in several psychological, physical and emotional curtailment. In 2003, Kobe Bryant, a well known sportsman in the US, was indicted in a court of law on accusations of rape. A 20-year-old spa attendant claimed that Kobe had forced himself upon her. However, the case was halted after a short while by the accuser on account of victimization.

Patterns and Explanations
The large percentage of rape victims are above the age of 12. Kobe Bryant was said to have raped a girl who was 20 years old, which is a reflection of the average age of rape victims. In addition, the rape victims are more likely than not to know the offenders, but in this case, Kobe Bryant was a popular individual in the US. The accuser claimed that she knew him and was aware of his sportsmanship fame when she engaged the offender. Kobe Bryant’s sex situation projects a likelihood of an opportunistic behavior. The girl claimed that she had kissed Kobe and that counts as an adulterous crime, Kobe might have taken the advantage to satisfy his immediate sexual impulses (Riedel & Welsh, 2008 ). [“Write my essay for me?” Get help here.]

There is a possibility that Bryant, given his thinking patterns, might have been unaware that he was committing rape. Social cognitive theories indicate that rape may be a consequence of erroneous thinking, which are triggered by social interactions (Riedel & Welsh, 2008 ). This is revealed in Kobe’s subsequent apology to the accuser. In the apology, he stated that he understood why she might have thought it was rape (Stern, 2016). This is a projection of the thought patterns learned through constant interactions. He might have mistaken the accuser’s no for a yes, which is a common phenomenon in many rape cases. This is an extension of the assumption that women love persistent men.

Strengths and Weaknesses of Rape Shield Laws
Rape shield laws are legal frameworks that are intended to protect rape complainant’s privacy and dignity. They accomplish this by ensuring that damaging information about their past, which do not relate to the prevailing cases are not disclosed during the trial (Haddad, 2006). This serves to ensure that information from the victim’s past experiences is not used to discredit them in a court of law. Before the introduction of the rape shield laws, defense attorneys in rape cases used the victim’s personal information on their lifestyles to soil their turpitude. Likewise, the Rape Shield laws are intended to preempt the victimization of the rape victim. It ensures that the focus of the entire trial is limited to the prevailing circumstance.

The laws further protect the privacy of the victim from public scrutiny. In Kobe Bryant’s case, exemptions to the law exposed the alleged victim to public ridicule. The general public, social media and news networks abused her identity. This led to the interruption of the court proceedings on the case. Essentially, even though the laws were created to guide the hearing process in the courts of law, they tend to be ineffective in the public realm (Haddad, 2006). In many rape cases, the public tends to determine the attitude that is extended towards the victim as opposed to any other stakeholder. In this case, all measures taken to protect the accuser from public scrutiny failed.[Need an essay writing service? Find help here.]

Despite their benevolent implications, rape shield laws may obstruct the application of justice. It is necessary to admit all the relevant evidence and information that relates to the prevailing lawsuit. This is to ensure that both the victim and the accused receive a fair trial. If the rape shield laws are fully applied, some evidence, which may have influenced the outcomes of the trial process, will be overlooked. In this way, the accused will be barred from justice. In the Kobe Bryant case, the actions and behavioral patterns of the purported victim did not corroborate with her accusations (Stern, 2016). Such evidence enables the determination of the victim’s motives, and the rape shield laws would curtail such initiatives.

Rape is a criminal act and women tend to be the victims in such cases with men as the sex offenders. In many cases, the rape offenders often misunderstand the victim’s resistances for an indirect consent to the act. Such thinking misleads the offenders and is a culmination of social frameworks that promote masculinity while denigrating femininity. The rape shield laws are legal frameworks intended to ensure that the accuser’s personal information that is unrelated to the case are not used during trial. However, this may jeopardize the application of justice to the accused, and that constitutes an illegality.[Click Essay Writer to order your essay]


Haddad, R. I. (2006). Shield or Sieve? People v. Bryant and the Rape Shield Law in High Profile Cases. Columbia Journal of Law and Social Problems, 185-221.

Riedel, M., & Welsh, W. N. (2008 ). Criminal Violence: Patterns, Causes, and Prevention. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Stern, M. (2016, April 11). Kobe Bryant’s Disturbing Rape Case: The DNA Evidence, the Accuser’s Story, and the Half-Confession.

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By Hanna Robinson

Hanna has won numerous writing awards. She specializes in academic writing, copywriting, business plans and resumes. After graduating from the Comosun College's journalism program, she went on to work at community newspapers throughout Atlantic Canada, before embarking on her freelancing journey.

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