Rape is scary, and it can happen to anyone. What is it? Simply a situation where a person forces you to have sex without your consent. It can happen between dating partners or two acquaintances, it could be with someone you were already sexually involved with, and minimal pain or violence may be involved. But "no" means "no" and thats that. It is important to know the facts about rape and "street smarts" now more than ever.
It is estimated that one out of every four women will
be attacked during her lifetime. In the past year, the
FBI has reported over 110,000 rapes, 24,000 murders, and
1,127,000 assaults. And thats estimated to be only
half of the crimes committed because so many women are
afraid to report a crime, especially rape.
Here are some things you should know:
A female has a 4 times greater chance of being raped by someone she knows than by a stranger. The most likely ages for rape to occur are between 16 and 24. The sexual offender is under the age of 25 in 50% of the crimes. 27% of females between 15 and 19 years of age have been victims of rape or attempted rape. 84% of those victims knew their attacker. Dating violence affects at least 1 in 10 couples. 75% of date rapists that were interviewed admitted to getting women drunk in order to have sex with them. These facts sound scary, right?
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce
your chances of encountering this situation.
Also since 97% of reported sexual assaults are committed by males, guys have to be aware of date rape and sexual assault. Males should learn or be made aware of the following:
If you have already encountered an unfortunate situation such as rape or assault, you may be experiencing a barrage of upsetting feelings. Often, a womans reaction to rape is known as the rape trauma syndrome. The initial phase is called disorganization, and the second, long-term phase is reorganization. Immediately following rape, a girl may either react expressively - by showing fear, anger, anxiety, crying, sobbing or tenseness - or by masking feelings and showing a clam exterior. They may have trouble sleeping, have nightmares reliving the rape, constantly wake up have stomach pains; genitourinary disturbances; and headaches, or develop phobias. For example, it attacked inside, they may develop a fear of being indoors. They may be very afraid to be alone. Additionally, they will commonly feel emotions such as depression, humiliation, embarrassment, anger self-blame, and fear of violence and death. Sexual fears may develop, and in extreme cases, a person is unable to resume normal sexual activity. However, studies say that depressive symptoms disappear in most victims within four months.
The second stage is reorganization, where most victims take action to ensure safety. They may he telephone numbers and door locks changed, move or visit family members, or rearrange their rooms. Many also read about rape or write about their experience, or they become active in helping at rape crisis centers.
Also, you can get a restraining order or press charges against your attacker. While you may not want to admit to a trusted adult the trauma youve experienced, its in your best interest. It can prevent your attacker from reattacking not only you, but others as well. Depending on the circumstances, the state you live in may not classify your experience as rape (the laws vary from state to state), but its worth investigating. You can always press charges for a lesser crime. Remember: for every rapist spoken out against, there becomes less of a chance of further crimes happening so dont keep silent. As of now only one in five teen victims of date rape tell her parents about the attack. Why? Fear.
Fear that there parents will disapprove of her behavior related to the rape (drinking, doing drugs, or going to places that her parents said were off limits). Fear that a history of her being sexually active will be revealed. Fear that her parents will blame her. Fear that the news would destroy her family. And fear that her parents will restrict her life and take away her independence. But think of it this way: if you dont speak out, that fear may stay with you forever.
Sexual abuse is any sexual situation that makes a person feel uncomfortable. Even a sexual comment or unreasonable flirting can be defined as sexual harassment. Here are some simple guidelines to know about sexual abuse:
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Revised: August 15, 1996.