Saturday, February 06, 2016

[djvomiwr] Criminality of harm

Person X suffers harm, say, psychological trauma, as a result of actions by person Y.  Under what conditions is Y criminally responsible for the harm?

Abstractly, this is a question of a property line: does X "own" a right not to be harmed in the manner perpetrated by Y?  What principles does (or should) society use to determine such property lines?  Historically, of course, they have been decided by often ugly politics, and cynically they probably will continue to be.

Person X suffers psychological trauma due to rape.  Y is criminally responsible.

Person X suffers psychological trauma due to romantic break-up, being dumped by Y.  Y is not criminally responsible.

Person X agrees to have sex with Y so long as Y agrees not to break up.  Y agrees and they have sex, but later break up.  The breakup causes X to feel a tremendously devalued sense of self-worth due to being sexually used, i.e., psychological trauma of rape, and so X files rape charges against Y.

No comments :