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Rape

When a sexual assault involving sexual intercourse, complete or even partial, is done by one or more person against another person without consent, it is termed as rape. Lack of objection does not mean consent. It can be done with:

  • Physical force
  • Coercion
  • Generating fear
  • Abuse of authority
  • Abuse of trust
  • On unconscious or not in full senses
  • Person with mental disorder
  • Person below age of consent

Types of rapes

  • Acquaintance rape
  • Child sex abuse
  • Office rape
  • Date rape
  • Gang rape
  • Family rape
  • Marital rape
  • Institution rape like Prison rape
  • Human conflict rape like Riot rape and War rape

Sexual Assault

Rape is one type of sexual assault. Any kind of physical sexual activity by body part or object against a person without consent is termed as sexual assault.

Marital rape

A rape of spouse is called marital rape. Being in marriage does not mean that a person (spouse) can be forced for sex. In many countries it is still treated as a type of domestic violence. They even justify it as right of husband. The basic fact remains the supremacy of man over woman. Do women have right over their body, can they decide whether they want sex or not? If man and woman are equal, then it should be honored that both man and woman both can say yes or no to sex.

What motivates rape:

Some of the commonly seen motives are:

  • Anger
  • Desire for power
  • Accomplishment
  • Sadism
  • Sexual gratification
  • To prove a point

Effects on victims

There are pronounced effects on the victim. Some are:

  • Trauma and shock
  • Acute stress disorder
  • Disruption of mental functioning
  • Disruption of physical functioning
  • Disruption of social functioning
  • Various emotions like anxiety, anger, depression, fear, denial, guilt etc.
  • Negative thoughts and nightmares
  • Avoidance of people, place, activities
  • Deterioration in personality and life
  • Unwanted pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases

Blaming the victim

In many societies it is not uncommon to see the victim being blamed for rape. Their behavior or dressing is often said to be the reason behind. This is another display of male dominated society. In another form a rape can be simplified as forced sex which women want and enjoy.

Post rape trauma

It is common for victims to undergo post rape add on trauma. This can be:

  • Harassment by assaulter or his friends, relatives
  • Harassment by even own people
  • Threat to keep quiet
  • Taking photographs or making film
  • Threat of distribution or putting them on internet
  • Blackmailing
  • Repeated rape
  • Forced marriage with assaulter
  • Rejection by society
  • On extreme, honor killing

Legal aspect

Rape is most under reported crime. Reasons are many – social shame, disgrace of family, fear of assaulter, fear of police, lack of trust on legal system. Early reporting is crucial from both legal and medical point of view. It helps in evidence collection, correct information, catching the culprit, investigation of scene of crime etc. But inspite of all efforts, the conviction rate is still low.

Prevention of rapes

Some of the preventive measures can be:

  • Better investigative and legal system
  • Better vigilance and security
  • Sex education and moral education
  • Self defense training of girls and women
  • Support groups