This short article will concentrate on the subject of sex crimes on the family. Sex offences are criminal by the Penal Law, 5737-1977.

What are sex crimes

The Penal law refers to the following sex offences:

Rape – Is an offense under section 345 of the Penal Law. Rape is having coitus with a woman without her free consent or the exploitation of unconsciousness or consent obtained fraudulently and more. There is no doubt that this is the most serious offense set forth in the Penal Law, with regard to sexual offenses. The penalty for this offense is 16 years in prison as well as 20 years in prison for aggravating circumstances (for example, when the act was committed by use of firearms).

Sodomy – This offense is fixed in section 347 of the Penal Law. Sodomy is defined as the insertion of an organ from the body or an object into the anus, or the insertion of a sexual organ into a person’s mouth.

Indecent act –  This offense is fixed in section 348 of the Penal Law. An indecent act is defined as a sexual act performed for the purpose of arousal, satisfaction or sexual humiliation, without the consent of the other party.

Indecent act in public – this is a “sister” to the above offense which is fixed in section 349 to the Penal Law. It includes the above actions but physical contact to the other party.

Judgment Facts

The verdict deals with a tort claim filed by a mother and her two daughters to the Family Court against the father for rape and indecent acts committed by him on his daughter when she was 10 years old. The father was convicted man years ago of committing indecent acts in the family and the offense of abuse of a minor, as part of a criminal proceeding. As part of the criminal proceedings, the father was sentenced to 14 years in prison.

Moreover, as part of the tort claims, an expert in the field of mental health was appointed by the court, who determined that the mental damage caused to the daughter due to sexual abuse amounted to 30% disability. Note that the father physically and mentally abused the mother and young daughter and continued to threaten them even after he was arrested. The daughters demanded compensation from their father for the tort of assault established in section 23 (a) of the Civil Wrongs Ordinance, 5728-1968, breach of statutory duty and breach of duty of care and negligence.

Psychological effects of sexual offenses within the family

Sexual abuse within the family and in general, are expressed, as described by the prosecutor in the interrogation, as: nightmares, depressions, anxieties, influence on the long-term relationship and impaired ability to have normative sex. I should add that in many cases, girls who have experienced sexual assault in the family find themselves in relationships in which they also experience psychological and physical violence from the other party. Worse yet, women who have been sexually abused by a family member even end up in extreme situations and prefer to commit suicide.

The judgment

The court accepted the claim of the daughters of the father. In addition, the court ruled that the father would compensate his daughter, who was raped by him, in the amount of about one million NIS, and the mother and the second daughter were given reduced compensation. There is no need to dwell on the ugliness of incest. This is what another court ruled on another occasion:

“The offense of incest is disgraceful and humiliating and contradicts basic principles of law and morality so much so that the mind is revolted by this disgusting phenomenon, which, unfortunately, has become commonplace. One of the most conspicuous features of this offense is that it is usually carried out in secret, with the shameful exploitation of mastery and authority by a father over his offspring, in the innocent guise of the exercise of paternal authority over helpless young girls who find themselves in a miserable situation and helplessness”

The above quote correctly describes the answer to the question of why the punishment for sexual offenses in the family is more severe than other offenses that do not occur in the family. This is due to the understanding that the family is supposed to be a safe and protected place for the minor. The same is true in the circumstances of the judgment that dealt with a monetary claim, which stemmed from the criminal proceeding.

In conclusion

Sexual offenses in the family constitute serious offenses and therefore the legislator is more stringent in punishment for them than sex offenses that are not committed within the family unit. Not only is this a criminal offense, but the harmed person can also receive high compensation by filing a civil suit. Therefore, contact a lawyer specializing in this field.