Good Essay About Family Violence And Abuse

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Children, Family, Women, Parents, Mother, Sexual Abuse, Crime, Armed Forces

Pages: 5

Words: 1375

Published: 2020/12/29

Jennifer, a 16—year-old girl described in the case, is clearly another victim of child sexual abuse through sexual exploitation as a prostitute and through being an object of child pornography. However, the details of the case should be thoroughly investigated before charging her mother with a crime of exploiting her child or neglecting her. Unfortunately, Jennifer’s story is most likely one of the numerous similar stories of the victims of a dysfunctional family with the adult in a family using the child as a source of income, instead of protecting her from the abnormal premature sexual experience. The main offenders in the described crimes are the mother, who knew about Jennifer being a prostitute and a participant in child pornography, and the local man, who possessed child pornography during the mentioned cyber sting. The crimes involved in the case are also two of the “unconditionally worst forms of child labor”, as widely recognized by the international community (Wallace & Roberson, 2014, p. 194). For this reason, both perpetrators’ actions require thorough investigation and deserve a punishment that corresponds to the committed crimes.
Although it is stated that Jennifer voluntarily participated in child prostitution and child pornography, as the occupations brought her money to support her family, there are two distinctive features in this crime that make it impossible to exempt the local man from liability. First of all, as child pornography is one of the biggest crimes against a child, it is considered an obscene material. The First Amendment that guarantees the freedom of expression does not apply to the cases of such material, and for this reason a person, who possesses, sells or distributes child pornography, can be found guilty of this crime (Wallace & Roberson, 2014, p. 194). Thus, the local man can still be charged with possession of child pornography. The only obstacle that can happen during the process is proving that the material the man had on his computer was obscene and falls under the definition of child pornography, which is, under the federal law, any material that visually depicts Jennifer engaged in “sexually explicit conduct that is obscene”, taking part in bestiality, sadistic or masochistic abuse, or is involved in homosexual or heterosexual intercourse, and such depiction has no “literary, artistic, political, or scientific value”; however, according to Wallace and Roberson (2014), it is usually very easy to prove that the possessed material is child pornography (p. 195). Secondly, although Jennifer states that her participation in this activity is voluntarily, she actually cannot voluntarily give consent, that will have legal force, to such exploitation, because she is a minor, and her consent to participate in child pornography and prostitution is, thus, invalid (Wallace & Roberson, 2014, p. 192). Consequently, despite the seemingly voluntary actions of a girl and the consent of her mother, the local man is still very likely to be found guilty of possessing child pornography upon the investigation of the possessed material.
Jennifer’s mother is the main perpetrator in Jennifer’s case, as she was not only aware about the girl being a prostitute and a participant of child pornography, but also took no actions in order to protect her child and prevent her from such life. The mother did not prevent the girl from prostitution or child pornography, while taking actions against the girl’s enrollment in the Army. It is evident that although the mother executed her right to withhold her consent regarding the Army, she did not act in the cases where she had to. Moreover, according to Jennifer, the family accepted the girl’s income from these activities and apparently did not want Jennifer to leave and stop earning money for the family. As exploitation includes “prostitution and other forms of sexual activities”, and prostitution means engaging or offering a child to another person for sexual acts, Jennifer’s mother might have been exploiting her daughter as a prostitute (Wallace & Roberson, 2014, p. 193). First of all, as Jennifer was involved in child labor as a minor, her mother knew about it and accepted the daughter’s income, it can mean that her mother gave her consent to the girl’s labor, although further investigation might be needed to prove that her mother was deliberately using the girl, engaging her or offering her services as a child prostitute. At the same time, Jennifer’s mother knew about the girl posing for the pornographic video and took no legal actions against the distribution of the copies and for the protection of Jennifer. In case the investigation proves that Jennifer’s mother knew about the girl’s intent to participate in pornography and allowed it, it will be considered child sexual abuse (Wallace & Roberson, 2014, p. 80). In case it is proven that the mother engaged Jennifer or solicited her for prostitution, it will also be deemed child sexual abuse (Wallace & Roberson, 2014, p. 80). As the girl was made believe that she should be either in the Army or prostituting and considered these two as her only options, she might also be the victim of child neglect. In either case, Jennifer’s mother will most probably be guilty of a crime against her daughter’s health and welfare.
According to the United States laws, a person at the age of seventeen may enlist in the U.S. Army upon obtaining the consent from parents (Wallace & Roberson, 2014, p. 206). This restriction has been included in the legislation of most of the civilized countries, and the reason for that is that children might be exploited by the armed forces as valuable soldiers in specific operations. Also, children may use the Army as an escape from abusive family, as may be the case of Jennifer. According to Wallace and Roberson (2014), difficult life situations may drive children and their parents to use the child force in the army, and some children might erroneously think they want to join armed forces voluntarily (p. 205). This might also be Jennifer’s case, as the girl might not know any other life apart from constant struggle, poverty, hunger, abuse and neglect. She might have been persuaded that it was her only alternative to being sexually exploited. At the same time, some parents might send their underage children without any combat skills in order to earn money or any other profit. Legally, in Jennifer’s case, her mother has the right to withhold the consent for the girl’s army enrollment. However, she might have been doing it in order to keep Jennifer at home and get a steady income from her occupations. Jennifer might indeed want to join the Army, but she might also be mistakenly thinking that she will not otherwise survive. In this case, a caregiver should be able to deny his or her consent to control the girl and act in her best interests until she reaches the age of majority. During this time, Jennifer should be taught about her other options and treated from the consequences of the child sexual abuse and exploitation. However, the person, who should be preventing her from going to the Army, should be someone outside the family circle, who was knowingly using Jennifer’s income from prostitution and pornography, as such people cannot protect her best interests. In case her mother’s parental rights are terminated, a new custodian or caregiver should have a right to give or withhold consent regarding the Army.
The main objective in Jennifer’s case is the termination of child abuse and treatment of the consequences that may endure and transit into Jennifer’s adult life affecting various areas of her life, including her ability to function in a society as a healthy woman. People, who were exploiting Jennifer and using her money from child sexual abuse acts, should be punished upon thorough investigation. The local man should, in particular, be charged with possession of child pornography, while Jennifer’s mother and the rest of the family should be checked for the signs of child abuse, as they are very likely to be guilty of one of many child abuse crimes. Jennifer, given her condition, should undergo a treatment as a victim of child abuse, as the consequences of this part of her life might influence all her decisions, including enrollment in the Army. Her new custodian should, therefore, have a right to forbid her from joining the Armed Forces until she comes of age.

References

Wallace, H., & Roberson, C. (2014). Family violence: Legal, medical, and social perspectives (Seventh ed.). Pearson.

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WePapers. (2020, December, 29) Good Essay About Family Violence And Abuse. Retrieved April 18, 2021, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-essay-about-family-violence-and-abuse/
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"Good Essay About Family Violence And Abuse." WePapers, Dec 29, 2020. Accessed April 18, 2021. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-essay-about-family-violence-and-abuse/
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"Good Essay About Family Violence And Abuse," Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com, 29-Dec-2020. [Online]. Available: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-essay-about-family-violence-and-abuse/. [Accessed: 18-Apr-2021].
Good Essay About Family Violence And Abuse. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-essay-about-family-violence-and-abuse/. Published Dec 29, 2020. Accessed April 18, 2021.
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