Rape and Sexual Violence

Rape and Sexual Violence
Rape and sexual violence is a very serious problem that affects millions of people each year. Rape is someone taking advantage of another person sexually. Sexual assault can be verbal, physical, visual, or anything that forces a person to join in unwanted sexual contact or attention. (?Sexual Assault.?) Rape is one of the most underreported crimes. In 2002, only thirty-nine percent of rapes and sexual assaults were reported to law officials. (?Sexual Violence: Fact Sheet.?) Victims sometimes do not report that they have raped because of shame or feeling that it was their fault. It is never the victim?s fault. ?Victim blaming? is holding the victim of a crime to be in a whole or in partly responsible for what had happened to them. Most victims believe this. (?Myths and Facts about Sexual Violence.?)
One in every six women and one in every thirty-three men has been reported being raped. Usually women are raped under the age of eighteen and men under the age of twelve. Women are more likely to report rape than men. Out of high school youth nationwide, nine percent reported they have been raped. Among college students nationwide, between twenty and twenty-five percent of women reported completed of attempted rape. Among adults nationwide, more than 300,000 women and over 90,000
men reported being raped in the previous twelve months. (?Sexual Violence: Fact Sheet.?)
Women are more likely to be victims of rape or sexual violence than men. Seventy-eight percent of victims of women and twenty-two percent are men. Women who are raped before the age of eighteen are twice as likely to be raped again as adults. Victims are at greater risk of rape or sexual assault while intoxicated. (?Sexual Violence: Fact Sheet.?) Dressing in a gaudy or non-modest manner has not much to do with why someone was raped. Rapists are determined to exercise power over another. Women may also flirt with men but if later the women are victimized, that does no mean the rape was their fault because they were flirting. Just because the victim does not fight back does not mean they are giving their consent. It most likely is because it might be the best way they can protect themselves from further injury. Consent is when a person says it?s permissible to have sex. They do not object to it so it is not considered rape. (?Myths and Facts about Sexual Violence.?) Some reasons that perpetrators rape or sexually abuse people is alcohol and drug use, sexual fantasies, hostility towards women, witnesses family violence as a child, or has a childhood history of sexual abuse. Perpetrators of sexual violence are at a high risk of committing the crime again. Most perpetrators of sexual violence are men. One hundred percent of rapes, ninety-two percent of assaults, and ninety-seven percent of stalking acts were by men. (?Sexual Violence: Fact Sheet.?)
In a number of criminal cases, men convicted of rape were found to have given Rohypnol to their victims. (?Carson-Dewitt.?) Rohypnol is a drug that is used medically; however, it has become a widely abused drug in many countries including the United
States. (?Carson-Dewitt.?) Rohypnol is known as the ?date rape drug? and can be slipped into a victim?s drink unnoticed. (?Carson-Dewitt.?) When used properly, this drug is not dangerous, but illegal use can cause many dangers including: memory loss, unconsciousness, and amnesia which is why perpetrators use this drug so often. (?Carson-Dewitt.?) Rohypnol is especially dangerous when mixed with alcohol. The combination can cause coma, very slow breathing, and sometimes death. (?Carson-Dewitt.?)
Rape and sexual violence can be very harmful and have lasting effects on victims, and their families. There are long term consequences such as: chronic pelvic pain, disability preventing work, shock, denial, fear, confusion, anxiety, withdrawal, guilt, nervousness, emotional detachment, sleep disturbances, flashbacks, and distrust of others. (?Sexual Violence: Fact Sheet.?) The most common effect of rape is serious psychological trauma. (?Myths and Facts about Sexual Violence.?) Victims can have strained relationships with everyone around them. Women who experience rape are more likely to have sexually transmitted diseases. Over 32,000 women become pregnant from rape every year. (?Sexual Violence: Fact Sheet.?)
There is no way to completely prevent rape or sexual violence; however, there are several ways to prevent it. You should avoid walking or jogging alone, especially at night. Stay in well-lit areas and beware of isolated spots. You need to always keep your keys with you and be aware of your surroundings. Lock your doors and windows, even if you leave for just a few minutes. Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable, then leave. Do not do drugs or alcohol. You should always walk with confidence; the more confident you look, the stronger you appear. You should also watch your drink while you
are at a bar or party. People can slip something into your drink you make you more vulnerable. (?Sexual Assault.?)
Rape is something that is growing rapidly our world today. There are hundreds of places people may go and visit for help or more information about rape and sexual violence. It is very important that when and if it happens, the victim needs to report the crime to authorities immediately. People must know the truth about rape and sexual violence and what to do about it.

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