Rape or Sexual Assault? Know the law...

While studying the criminal law this spring, my professor brought to our class's attention that the different states define rape, sexual assault, and sexual abuse differently. Most of the definitions are based on the age of the victim, the amount and type of force used, consent, relationship to the victim, mental capacity of the victim and so on. Although the federal government has published a model penal code to encourage consistency across the nation, the states have continued to use their own statutes with varying terms, degrees, and punishment. Of course this has caused much confusion on what constitutes rape, sexual assault, abuse, molestation, sodomy, and even more terms than I can list here. With the ongoing confusion regarding the law, it's also burdens programs and organizations with educating the public and creating awareness. Sexual assault in one state can mean rape in another and vice versa. As I have become more involved in this work and in my legal studies, I have become more and more fascinated by the riddles. So! I've created another blog for your reading enjoyment. It's simply called SV Legal Resources. I've organized the blog by providing links to each state's criminal code for sexual offenses. I hope to continue to update the blog with commentary and also comparisons of the different states as time allows. So go on over and take a look and browse at your leisure.