Evaluation of Tanzania’s Legal System for Sexual Offences and its Implementation in the Eradication of Violence against Girls: Law and Practice

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Journal Title: Journal of Legal Studies & Research
Author(s): Augustino R. Mwampashe
Published On: 19/12/2023
Volume: 9
Issue: 6
First Page: 412
Last Page: 423
ISSN: 2455-2437
Publisher: The Law Brigade Publisher

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Augustino R. Mwampashe, Evaluation of Tanzania’s Legal System for Sexual Offences and its Implementation in the Eradication of Violence against Girls: Law and Practice, Volume 9 Issue 6, Journal of Legal Studies & Research, 412-423, Published on 19/12/2023, Available at https://jlsr.thelawbrigade.com/article/evaluation-of-tanzanias-legal-system-for-sexual-offences-and-its-implementation-in-the-eradication-of-violence-against-girls-law-and-practice/


The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency defines gender-based violence as “acts of physical, sexual, and psychological assault that are specifically targeted at individuals or groups on the basis of their biological sex and/or their gender identity within society.” However, it may also affect boys and men, most significantly in the form of sexual assault or rape, especially during times of war. It predominantly targets females and girls and is often perpetrated by an acquaintance of the victim.[i]

This violence is a symbolic system within the patriarchal framework that generates a variety of routine behaviors that violate the rights of women and reinforce the existing injustice and inequality between the sexes. In contrast to other forms of coercion, this type of hostility targets women on the basis of their gender, which creates a vulnerability or risk factor.

According to the American Psychological Association, children don’t have the capacity to consent to sexual activity with adults, and adults who engage in such conduct are condemned. Sexual activity with a minor is never socially acceptable or normal, and adults who engage in it violate the law and commit immorality.[ii]

Nevertheless, the Association also observed that a solid correlation has been established between childhood sexual abuse and several adult psychopathologies, including alcoholism, drug abuse, and crime and suicide. This tends to further victimize girls who have already been subjected to sexual violence throughout their lives as adolescents and adults. Females who endure childhood sexual abuse are at a greater risk of developing the aforementioned issues than those who receive professional mental health care.[iii]

A comparative study of middle-aged women who were subjected to childhood maltreatment and those who were not found that the former incurred significantly higher health care costs.[iv] It is important to note, nevertheless, that there is evidence suggesting that young women who experienced child sexual abuse may develop more severe behavioral, peer, and emotional problems than their peers in the long run.

[i] SIDA (2015),Gender-Based Violence and Education. p1.

[ii] KALICHMAN, S. C. (1999). Mandated reporting of suspected child abuse: Ethics, law, & policy (2nd ed.). American Psychological Association. 1999.

[iii] Understanding child sexual abuse: education, prevention, and recovery. American Psychological Association Retrieved 13/03/2023.

[iv] ARNOW, BA (2004). “Relationships between childhood maltreatment, adult health and psychiatric outcomes, and medical utilization”.

Keywords: Law, Tanzania, Sexual Abuse, Criminal, Implementation

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