Defense Against Crime

07/04/2010

The Facts About Sexual Assault

Filed under: Crime Prevention — peppereyes @ 10:54 AM
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Don’t Be Their Next Victim

There is no difference between being raped and going head first through a windshield except that afterward you are afraid not of cars but half the human race.”-Marge Piercy

Victims of sexual assault often experience an overwhelming feeling of vulnerability, violation, and powerless. Many will blame themselves, reliving the experience to see how they could have changed the outcome. Many people are confused about sexual assault. I’ve had people ask  “Is this sexual assault?” many times. Types of sexual assault span a huge continuum, ranging from verbal sexual abuse, harassment to forcible rape and I hope this page will help to answer these questions. Everyone has the right to heal from these violations.

Rape is never EVER the victim’s fault. Here are some things you should know about Sexual Assault.

Did you know

  • Every 2 minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted.
  • Eighty-Seven Percent (87%) of all sexual assault victims are female
  • At least 1 in 4 college women will be the victim of a sexual assault during her academic career.
  • Every 6 minutes, someone in the U.S. is raped.
  • 48.8% of college women who were victims of attacks that met the study’s definition of rape did not consider what happened to them rape.
  • Ninety-Seven (97%) of all sexual offenders are male
  • At least 84% of all sexual assaults are committed by an acquaintance of the victim

The Truth About Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is a violent assault acted out in a sexual way.  Sex crimes are NOT crimes of passion or desire. Sex crimes are crimes of violence, anger and power, NOT passion.  Many victims of sexual assault develop a post-traumatic stress syndrome that has been referred to as Rape Trauma Syndrome. Symptoms can include fear, helplessness, shock and disbelief, guilt, humiliation and embarrassment, anger, self-blame, flashbacks of the rape, avoidance of previously pleasurable activities, avoidance of the place or circumstance in which the rape occurred, depression, sexual dysfunction, insomnia, and impaired memory.

Common myths surrounding rape include: only women can be sexually assaulted; victims who truly resist cannot be raped; “no” really doesn’t mean “no”; nice girls don’t get raped; and “she asked for it.” or the victims “ask for it” by their dress.

No one “asks” to be assaulted. In addition, when most attackers decide to assault someone, how they are dressed is of little consequence.

These various Rape and sexual assault myths exist for many different purposes. They may exist in order to make people feel safe and maintain a view of the world that is orderly and comfortable. For instance, if one believes that rape only happens to women do not resist “enough”, it is easy for the believer to feel safe because she certainly would resist “enough.”  This type of myth provides a false sense of security for many people. Other myths exist to maintain the present inequality between men and women. As an illustration, the myth that women who wear revealing clothing are raped allows people to believe that wearing revealing clothing provokes men to rape; therefore, women should dress in order to prevent such provocation, which limits women and their choices. Rape myths, unfortunately, are prevalent in our society and they are untrue. Anyone can be raped and no one is free from sexual violence. This is why it is vitally important to arm yourself with the tools and knowledge to reduce your chances of being a victim.

Let’s examine some of these myths.

Rape is a crime of sex.
Rape is a crime of power disguised as sex.

Only women are raped.
Men are raped, women are raped and small children are raped. This is unfortunate but true.

Women secretly want to be raped
It is not uncommon for some women to have rape fantasies. However, I believe that this is a result of women feeling that expressing their sexuality openly is bad, mainly due to societal beliefs. Some people may fantasize about rape in order to express their sexual desires, while feeling as though they are not “bad.” But no one likes to be overpowered, with their choices taken away. Ever.

Only sexy provocative looking women are raped.
This myth exists because people view rape as a sexually motivated crime. Again, it is not. Rape is a crime of power, perpetrated by people who find gratification in overpowering. It doesn’t matter how sexy or attractive the victim is perceived as being.

Women who dress provocatively deserve to be raped.
The words “dress provocatively” can be replaced with any number of different words, like “are intoxicated,” “flirt with men,” or “hitch hike.” The truth is that no one deserves to be raped, robbed, murdered, or assaulted no matter what they were doing.

Normal men don’t rape.
I would be able to tell if someone was a rapist just by talking to him. The fact is, rapists like other criminals seem normal to their friends, families and co-workers. They just hold people in low regard and do not understand or do not care about the consequences of their actions.  Think about many serial killers and scammers, they were regarded as normal.

It’s easy to spot a sex offender.
They are creepy and have shifty eyes. Sex offenders come from all walks of life and ethnic backgrounds, sex, and age. Do not let your guard down on first impressions.

Women falsely accuse men of rape all the time.
Instances of false accusations are no higher for rape than any other crime. Although it may happen on rare occasions, false rape charges are on the least reported crimes, nationwide. Rape is the most under-reported serious crime. Police and rape crisis groups agree that probably no more than 20% of all rapes are reported. And even when rape is reported, it has a lower conviction rate than robbery. Most rape victims don’t report the rape because they fear that they will be blamed for the rape, that the rape won’t be taken seriously, or that she will be stigmatized by the rape.

Sexual offenders commit these crimes because they never have sex.
Many sex offenders are married and engage in normal sexual relations with their partners. The reason they sexually assault their victims is because they get gratification from intimidating, humiliating and degrading their victims.

If a woman is raped, she might as well sit back and enjoy it.
This myth allows men to feel that rape is permissible, but it is patently false. Survivors of sexual assault usually find that damage has been done to their view of the world and their views of themselves as a result of the way someone has taken control of their bodies. Again, no one likes to left without choices, especially when bodily integrity is violated.  Let me ask, if someone was going to shot you, would you sit back and enjoy it.

If rape is not physically resisted, it is not rape.
Humans, and all animals have three responses to danger. We either fight, freeze, or fly. Many people fearing for their lives or bodily integrity freeze. There is no choice in that reaction. It’s just what happens. Fear of one’s life, or disfigurement to oneself or a loved one can immobilize anyone. Always remember, the goal is to survive the attack.

Some people are just biologically driven to rape.
People do not rape because they want sexual gratification. They rape to overpower. I’m going to be frank here. Masturbation provides sexual release and does not turn a person into a criminal. A lot of people choose that option, rather than becoming criminals.

Sexual Abuse Sufferers -Signs, impact, helpful resources. Support for abuse victims.HealthyPlace.com
RAINN.Org – The nation’s largest anti-sexual assault organization.

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Proceeds from your purchases go to support the different organizations such asSerenity Self Defense , RAINN, and the Orange County Rape Crisis Center

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