One in three women will be raped in her lifetime, but only one in 10 of those raped will report it -- and in an estimated 70-80% of reported rapes, the rapist is someone the woman knows -- a boyfriend, neighbor, family friend.
Rape is a crime of violence. It
is not an act of sexual gratification, but an angry and violent
expression of a desire to dominate and hurt someone else using sex as a
weapon. Most rapes involve a female victim, but men are often raped too, but rarely report it for fear of having their masculinity and sexuality questioned.
Rape is any type of forced sexual contact without consent
between two or more people, regardless of sexual or marital status.
The sexual contact may involve the sex organs of one or both, including
penetration, however slight, of the vagina or anus by a penis, hand, or
other object. There are many different kinds of rape and different
circumstances in which it occurs...
*Stranger Rape: Commonly called the "blitz rape" because the rapist appears from nowhere, and after the crime, quickly disappears. *Date Rape:
Occurs during a planned meeting, when the male becomes interested in
sex and attempts to seduce his date. When she resists, he uses verbal
threats and/or physical force to compel her. Date rape victims usually
have impaired reflexes due to drug or alcohol intoxication. *Acquaintance Rape:
Forced sex between a victim and an assailant she may have seen or met
on several occasions prior to the assault, but whom she doesn't know
well. *Marital Rape: Laws making marital rape
illegal did not begin to change until 1975. Most states now have laws
recognizing forcible sex without consent a crime even within a
marriage. A few, however, still consider it illegal only when the
married couple is separated and not living together.
Rape victims experience an array of feelings in definable stages following the attack:
PHASE ONE typically lasts a few days. Victims are still in shock and experience...
Denial, a primary defense mechanism of many survivors and
Physical stress symptoms such as headaches, nausea, vomiting and skin rashes.
PHASE TWO occurs for 6-12 weeks after the attack when victims experience...
Fear of death or of seeing the rapist again. Anxiety triggered by sounds, smells or places that remind the victim of the rape or the rapist. Loss of self-esteem; feeling soiled, used, and worthless. Guilt and self-blame Sexual dysfunction from the apprehension and discomfort when faced with any physical closeness. Anger towards people who remind the victim of the rapist, such as all men or all black people with whom she comes in contact with.
PHASE THREE is a period of resolution and coping
with the feelings caused by the rape. This usually includes the help
of a professional counselor; the time required to complete this phase
varies for each person.
PHASE FOUR is the long-term adjustment of recovery, during which the victim resumes control of her/his life.