Rape is a grave crime, but it can be battled with awareness. Rape
remains to be one of the most prevalent crimes in present society. It is
a crime which affects the person’s well-being entirely, as rape comes
with physical, emotional, social and psychological repercussions. Anyone
can be a victim; race, gender and age do not matter.
It is therefore necessary that all efforts must be made to avoid
this crime from occurring. The only way rape can be battled is through
information dissemination. It is this author’s stand that people can
only protect themselves if they are aware of the nature of rape and if
they know how to protect themselves.This research paper aims to discuss
the pertinent details of the crime of rape. Rape is basically sex
without consent (Cleveland Clinic Foundation [CCF], 2005). It is
considered rape when the sexual act is done against the will of the
other person involved. Force is primarily used to make that person
More often than not, drugs and liquor are used to inebriate the
victim. Violence is also utilized. Rape covers anal, oral and vaginal
intercourse. No one is spared from this act; men, women and children can
It must be noted that rape is considered a felony; therefore, it is a grave crime (CCF, 2005).Statistics reveal that many have become victims of the crime of rape, regardless of gender or age. According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network or RAINN (2008), out of six American women, there is one who has been victimized of either attempted rape or complete rate.
The organization also notes that a total number of 17. 7 million
female Americans have been victimized by either attempted rape or
completed rape (RAINN, 2008). In the year 2003, out of ten rape victims,
nine were female. Between 2004 and 2005, a total of 64,080 women were
However, women are not the only victims or rape.In the United States
alone, 2. 78 million men have been raped or sexual assault. It was also established that 1one in 33 American males have been
victims of either attempted rape or completed rape. Children are also
not spared from this crime; RAINN (2008) states that 15% of all rape and
sexual assault victims are under the age of 12. Just as there are many
victims of rape, there are also many effects of this crime.
The effects of rape results in both physical and emotional harm (CCF, 2005). The physical harm that is caused by rape is more evident than its emotional counterpart.To begin with, rape can definitely cause genital or anal damage. If the attacker used violence against the victim, this can result in wounds and bruises. Bones could also be broken if too much force was exerted. Rape victims are also at risk for sexually transmitted diseases. Victims may acquire syphilis, gonorrhea, herpes and even acquired immune deficiency syndrome or AIDS. Rape can also cause unwanted pregnancy (CCF, 2005).
Though not as obvious as the physical harm, the emotional pain which
resulted from rape proves to be more devastating.The victim has the
tendency to feel guilty about the act of being rape, even if it was not
his or her fault (CCF, 2005). Initially, rape victims will feel
humiliation and a sense of worthlessness. Over time, other psychological
problems will surface.
Rape victims tend to be more afraid, depressed and angry; they also
have a difficult time trusting people. Sleeping also proves to be a
tedious task for victims. There is much difficulty in falling asleep.
Even if they are lucky to fall asleep, nightmares may occur. Then,
remaining asleep also becomes problematic.
Flashbacks of the traumatic experience may also occur.Because of
this, victims may not derive pleasure from future consensual sexual acts
because they could recall the abuse. If the rapist was male, the victim
would have a hard time being attracted to men. These emotional effects
can linger for as long as the victim’s lifetime. However, the emotional
harm may be alleviated through counseling (CCF, 2005). Just as there are
many emotional effects, there are also many different types of rape.
This is because while rape can be given a general definition, there
are still debates as to what really constitutes the act of rape (Herman,
2008).The types of rape include stranger rape, date rape, statutory
rape, partner rape and male rape (Herman, 2008; RAINN, 2008). The first
type of rape is stranger rape.
As the name suggests, stranger rape occurs when the attacker is
unknown or not related to the victim. RAINN (2008) enumerates the three
categories of this type of rape: blitz sexual assault, contact sexual
assault and home invasion sexual assault. Blitz sexual assault occurs
when the attacker quickly and violently rapes a person with which he or
she has no previous contact. This kind of stranger rape often happens at
public venues during night time.Contact sexual assault occurs when the
attacker exerts effort in directly contacting the victim before the
actual assault happens.
In this situation, the suspect attempts to earn the trust and
confidence of the potential victim. Suspects usually frequent bars to
search for victims and bring these victims to their cars. Home invasion
sexual assault occurs when the suspect breaks into the home of the
potential victim to commit rape. In all three categories, the victims’
reactions to the rape are the same.
Victims feel shocked and numb. The swiftness of the attack leaves
victims disoriented and feeling out of control.After the deed, the feel
afraid and vulnerable; they seem helpless in their situation (RAINN,
2008). Another type is date rape, also known as acquaintance rape.
This type of rape occurs when the attacker is known to the victim;
the parties involved could be friends, people involved in a past
romantic relationship or current lovers (Herman, 2008; RAINN, 2008).
Research reveals that the chances of being raped by an acquaintance are
higher than the chances of being sexually assaulted by a relative or a
complete stranger (Herman, 2008). In the case of date rape, there are
many factors to consider.First, being in a romantic relationship or
being intimate does not signify consent (RAINN, 2008). Second, consent
must be given in every occasion of sexual intimacy; this consent must be
affirmed as the sexual activity progresses. For example, consent must
be given as two people move from kissing to petting, and so on. Lastly,
it must be considered that this type of rape is driven by a desire for
control and an intention to hurt and humiliate (RAINN, 2008).
Date rape occurs in three stages and is accompanied by both physical
and emotional reactions (RAINN, 2008). The three stages of date rape
are intrusion, desensitization and isolation.In the first stage, the
suspect tries to invade another’s personal space or comfort zone. This
is done by exposing personal details about oneself or exhibiting
seemingly harmless physical contact.
In the second stage, the victim is already at ease with the suspect
so the latter does not appear as a threat. The victim may feel
uncomfortable at times, but this feeling will soon be disregarded. The
last stage occurs when the suspect takes advantage of the victim’s trust
to set a distance from others. Like in all rape cases, victims of date
rape may experience fear, helplessness and sleeping troubles.However,
date rape may also result in eating problems, substance abuse, and even
suicide (RAINN, 2008). The third type is statutory rape.
This type of rape is defined as sexual intercourse wherein the
victim is minor or is too young to provide consent (Herman, 2008). The
consenting age for sexual activity varies from one state law to another.
The consenting age is usually not above 18 years old. Most states have
laws which impose harsher punishment when the victim involved is
younger. In addition, sexual intercourse could be considered as
statutory rape when the victim cannot provide consent due to reasons
aside from age.
This includes sexual intercourse with victims who were unconscious,
intoxicated or mentally incapacitated. This is considered rape because
the victim in question is not only incapable of proper judgment, but
also incapable of resisting the attacker. Therefore, the victim is
rendered incapable to protect him or herself (Herman, 2008). The fourth
type is partner rape. This type of rape occurs when sexual intercourse
happens without the other person’s consent; the suspect in this type of
rape can either be the husband, “current or previous partner, or
co-habitator” (RAINN, 2008).
The rape of a spouse is referred to as spousal or marital rape
(Herman, 2008). Before, laws did not acknowledge the possibility of rape
occurring between husband and wife. At present, due to the prevalence
of domestic violence, the laws have been changed (Herman, 2008). There
are three subtypes of partner rape, and just like date rape, it comes
with intense physical and emotional consequences (RAINN, 2008). The
three subtypes of partner rape are battering rape, force-only rape and
obsessive/sadistic rape. Battering rape is characterized by both
physical and sexual abuse.While the victim is being sexually assaulted,
he or she is also being physically abused.
In some cases, after being physically abused, the sexual assault will follow. Force-only rape is driven by the suspect’s need to preserve power and control. One’s feeling of domination is achieved through the assault of the partner. Meanwhile, obsessive/sadistic rape includes perversion and torture. This type of rape is marked by extreme violence. Due to the violent nature of this type of rape, it is then expected that the victim would physically suffer from the consequences.Physical injuries from partner rape include bruises and lacerations, as well as broken bones and muscle damage. If the suspect did use weapons, injuries from those are also expected. Pregnant victims may miscarry or suffer from stillbirth. It is also possible that victims may contract sexually-transmitted disease. As for the emotional repercussions, the victims feel betrayed and lose their trust in people; this stems from the fact that their suspects used to be someone close to them (RAINN, 2008).
Click here to hire the writer who handled this assignment.
The last type of rape is male rape.The traditional notion about rape
is that women are always the victims while men are the usual suspects
(Herman, 2008). However, it is also possible that men could be rape
victims. Because the traditional notion still holds at present society,
male rape is not as discussed as female or child rape. This is the
reason why the issues of male rape victims are left unaddressed (RAINN,
Male rape is accompanied with emotional and psychological
consequences. To begin with, victims will feel shame and embarrassment
(RAINN, 2008). Because of this, male victims will hesitate to report the
crime to the authorities.There are two reasons behind this hesitation.
First, male rape victims will refuse to seek help because of the
possibility of public judgment. To seek help means relaying the story
repeatedly to different individuals; this presents the risk of being
Second, the victim will refrain from seeking help to protect his
family from the same judgment. In addition, the refusal to report to the
authorities can also be a victim’s way to protect his privacy. The
shame and embarrassment will eventually result in withdrawal and
alienation in society.Moreover, male rape could also result in
relationship problems and identity issues.
The relationships of the victims can be affected by the assault
itself, the victim’s reaction to the assault, other people’s feedback to
the assault, or all of these factors combined. Meanwhile, identity
issues could arise for both heterosexual and homosexual male victims.
Heterosexual men suffer from what is referred to as “homosexual panic”;
this is characterized by the fear of becoming homosexual due to the
assault (RAINN, 2008). As a result, the victim may no longer feel
confident about his masculinity.
As for homosexuals, the assault may lead them to self-hatred because
of their sexual orientation. The rape may seem like punishment for their
homosexuality (RAINN, 2008). Regardless of the type of rape they have
experienced, all victims share a similarity. That similarity is the
trauma which comes from the experience of being raped, also known as the
Rape Trauma Syndrome or RTS (Rape Victims Advocates [RVA], 2008). This
syndrome, discovered by Ann Wolbert Burgess and Lynda Lytle Holmstrom,
is a group of responses to the stress a rape victim had experienced
during the crime.RTS includes the person’s response to the fear of
dying, which every rape victim feels while being assaulted. RTS has two
phases: the Acute or Initial Phase, and the Reorganization Phase. Both
of these phases showcase both the emotional and physical issues that
need to be addressed after the experience (RVA, 2008) The Acute or
Initial Phase begins from the first few days and may last until the next
few weeks following the rape (RVA, 2008).
During this time, the victim’s life is in the state of disorder;
this disorder is caused by the fear of death which accompanied the
assault.The main emotional concern of this phase is the apparent
contrast. In one moment, a victim may appear emotional and hysterical;
in another moment, the same victim may seem calm and collected. The
reasons for such contrast are the two styles of emotional responses
during the Acute or Initial Phase: expressed and controlled (RVA, 2008).
The expressed style and the controlled style are very different.
The expressed style of responding emotionally is characterized by an
open exhibition of the victim’s real feelings (RVA, 2008). The victim
may cry or laugh, become very talkative and even a little edgy.In
contrast, the controlled style is characterized by the victim’s efforts
to keep his or her emotions in check. The real emotions are bottled up
inside, making the victim appear composed and unaffected.
These styles show how different people react to such traumatic
experience. Nonetheless, a single person may display both styles in
dealing with the experience (RVA, 2008). The physical concerns of the
Acute or Initial Phase are the immediate effects on the body as well as
the behavioral disruptions. During the first few days after the attack,
the victim will experience soreness and pain in various parts of the
body (RVA, 2008).The pain is most concentrated on the body parts which
were directly assaulted. Aside from the evident bodily harm, there are
other ways in which the trauma will manifest itself. One such example
would be through the changes in one’s behavioral pattern. Rape victims
will experience significant change in their sleeping and eating habits.
They can eat and sleep more than they used to; they could also be
unable to sleep or eat at all. Nightmares are inevitable, but sometimes
this kind of dreams can bring the victims closer to healing (RVA,
2008).Meanwhile, the Reorganization Phase starts several weeks after the
rape took place and may last until a few months after the attack (RVA,
2008). During this time, the rape victim restarts anew after the rape
has occurred. This phase marks the beginning of a person’s ability to
There are four factors which are to be considered in the
Reorganization Phase: personality, support system, current life issues
and previous sexual assault. Personality indicates whether the victim
had already established coping mechanisms, which played a part in their
recovery from past stress and trauma.Support system is the network of
family and friends which the rape victim can utilize for emotional
support. Current life issues refer to the victim’s problems other than
the rape, which may exacerbate the trauma.
This includes substance or alcohol dependency, divorce and the like.
Lastly, previous sexual assault refers to an attack which may have
occurred within a few short years prior to the immediate rape. The
latter may hamper the healing process (RVA, 2008). While there are four
factors to consider in the Reorganization Phase, there are also four
areas of concern during the said phase (RVA, 2008).The first is the
social area. The victims will have difficulty reorienting himself or
herself into society. They will exhibit distrust in people; if the
suspect was male, the victim will specifically be distrustful of men.
If the victim was raped alone, he or she may constantly look for
companionship. If the victim was gang-raped, he or she will only seek
the company of a selected few. In an effort to restore the normalcy of
their lives, victims resort to significant changes in their life. This
may include moving to a different house, leaving school or changing
their jobs (RVA, 2008).The second area of concern is the victim’s
psychological state (RVA, 2008). Generally, denial of the rape and its
effects are normal occurrences. Though it is a recognized step to
recovery, denial which lasts longer than usual can hinder recovery.
Also, the victim has the tendency to blame him or herself for the
attack; this would result in guilt, loss of self-esteem and depression.
In addition, the victim may develop certain phobias. For instance, if
the attack occurs outside the home, the victim may be scared to go out
of the house. If the suspect’s breath smelled of liquor, such odor may
haunt the victim and cause nausea.Overall, victims are expected to
suffer from paranoia or panic attacks (RVA, 2008). There are also sexual
concerns during the Reorganization Phase (RVA, 2008).
Because sex was used as a means for punishment and control, most
victims will have difficulty deriving pleasure from future sexual
activities. This is because the line between rape and consensual sex is
blurred. Physical pain during intercourse and difficulty in relaxing are
expected. In most cases, victims will become unresponsive to sex.
Others, however, may seek sex constantly.
A victim’s attitude will fall under either of these responses (RVA,
2008).The fourth concern is physical in nature (RVA, 2008). The victim
may suffer from continuous problems in the genitals. If the rape
involved physical abuse, the pain during the attack may recur. Other
problems which may continue include worrying about the possibility of
sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy, and sleeping difficulties
(RVA, 2008). The aforementioned phases are keys to recovery. Though
recovery is important, just as important is the victim’s action
immediately after the attack.
What should be done after rape has occurred? First and foremost, a
victim must proceed to a safe place away from the attacker (RAINN,
2008).Second, the victim must seek help from the authorities. If he or
she is scared to contact to the police, the person in question must
contact a rape crisis center (CCF, 2005). It is crucial that the victim
must not wash, douche or brush their teeth (CCF, 2005; RAINN, 2008). It
is necessary that all evidence of the attack must be kept, including
bodily fluids (CCF, 2005). If possible, a victim should try to remember
as much details as she can about the rape and the rapist (RAINN, 2008).
The next step would be a visit to the emergency room (CCF, 2005). Rape
victims need to be examined by health professionals.
All injuries will be documented before treatment can begin. The
reason why washing or douching is discouraged is because semen and other
fluid samples left by the attacker will be collected. These can be used
for the identification and conviction of the suspect (CCF, 2005). It is
true that rape can be prevented. Nonetheless, there is not a single set
of guidelines which can guarantee that one would not be attacked (CCF,
2005). Instead, there are safeguards which can help protect people and
prevent this crime from happening. First, recognize the surroundings
One must know the location and the kind of people in that location. Refrain from using music headphones or earphones. Second, stay away from isolated and dimly lit places. Isolation makes seeking help during an attack more problematic.
Click here to hire the writer who handled this assignment.
Avoid isolated paths and shortcuts; stick with populated public
areas. Third, appear confident. Even if one is lost, it must seem like
he or she knows what they are doing. Fourth, do not ignore your
instincts. If a certain venue does not make one feel uneasy, he or she
must leave. Fifth, try to carry as few bags or packages as possible.
Having both hands full can make one more vulnerable to an attack.Sixth,
always keep your cell phone charged; also keep emergency numbers on the
Seventh, always have cash and change on hand in case of emergency.
Eighth, make sure you are not left alone with someone of questionable
character. To those with vehicles, the doors must always be kept locked.
Have a constant supply of car essentials. Always keep the gas tank full
or at least half-filled.
At home, keep doors locked as well. Regularly change locks and do
not keep windows or blinds open (RAINN, 2008). These are some guidelines
which can be followed to protect oneself from assault and prevent
rape.To further prevent oneself from being raped, one must be made aware
of the new ways in which people can be victimized. While technology has
indeed proven useful and convenient, it also is disadvantageous as it
can be used to harm other people. The Internet is currently being used
by suspects as a means to commit rape; it is referred to as internet
BBC News (2001) reported that 45-year-old Phillip Bugler was charged
for raping a 15-year-old schoolgirl he met over the internet. It was
said that Bugler convinced the girl to ride in his car, brought her to a
hotel, locked the door and raped her.In a related story, the Boston
Globe reported that 31-year-old Joseph Silva was charged with aggravated
felonious sexual assault when he allegedly drugged the drink of the
woman he met online and raped her (Mishra, 2006). These stories are
proof that the internet is being used by criminals to search for
victims. Another technologically pitfall presented by computers is the
lack of privacy.
Computers hold valuable information which can be accessed by anyone.
This information would be detrimental if it falls in the hands of a
potential stalker.Fortunately, there are steps to protect one’s privacy
in the computer (RAINN, 2008). If one suspects that he or she is being
tracked by someone through the computer, here are the necessary steps
which can be done to keep your privacy. First, clean the cache and
history of the computer. Second, delete all the cookies on the computer.
Third, secure the computer; do not allow other people to have access.
If other people can access it and if one feels being monitored, it
is important that he or she must seek a safer computer by using
computers in a library or a community center (RAINN, 2008).Just as rape
can be prevented, its effects can also be treated. It cannot be denied
that rape can cause emotional and psychological damage to a victim.
Fortunately, there are treatments which can be provided for rape
victims. One of the effects of rape is known as the posttraumatic stress
disorder or PTSD (Falsetti & Bernat, 2000). There are many kinds of
available treatment for rape victims which suffer from PTSD.
Treatments include stress inoculation training, prolonged exposure,
cognitive processing therapy and multiple channel exposure therapy
(Falsetti & Bernat, 2000).In stress inoculation training (SIT), rape
victims learn how fear arises as a response to trauma and how they
control their fear through designed exercises; this control will
eventually be tested through application. This kind of therapy has three
stages, and was proven to be most effective for female rape victims.
Prolonged exposure (PE) is a method of treatment referred to as
flooding; in this treatment, victims are constantly bombarded with
traumatic images in an effort to decrease fear and anxiety. This kind of
treatment is considered as better in dealing with PTSD than mere
Cognitive processing therapy (CPT) treats both PTSD and depression in
rape victims. The objective of this treatment is for the victim to
understand and deal with the emotions and beliefs about the rape. In
this kind of treatment, victims are guided to confront their feelings
and comprehend the attack in a different perspective. This treatment can
be performed either in groups or individually. Lastly, multiple channel
exposure therapy (MCET) is a treatment which derived techniques from
SIT, CPT and “Mastery of Your Anxiety and Panic” (Falsetti & Bernat,
2000).Originally, this therapy was meant for the treatment of general
trauma, in cases such as domestic violence. However, it has now been
adapted for the treatment of rape victims which suffer from PTSD and
panic attacks (Falsetti & Bernat, 2000). With these treatments, rape
victims can regain control over their lives and start anew after such
Rape is a serious crime, a pertinent social concern which needs to
be resolved and addressed. There are many types of rape, just as there
are many consequences of such attack.While rape cannot be directly
avoided, there are ways in which individuals can protect themselves to
prevent this from happening. However, the only way people can protect
themselves is through awareness. It is necessary that the public is made
aware of the necessary information about rape and its prevention. This
calls for thorough information dissemination in the community.
It is in this way in which the community can be vigilant in its
efforts to decrease the number of rape victims. Information and
awareness are the keys in fighting the prevalence of rape.