Truth about rape

 Uncategorized
Oct 282004
 
Authors: Kathryn Dailey

By Kathryn Dailey

Every two minutes, someone in America is sexually assaulted,

according to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network.

The calculation is based off data from the U.S. Department of

Justice, 2002 National Crime Victimization Survey. However, in 2003

the rate of rape and sexual assault declined marginally, according

to the USDOJ Department of Statistics.

I find this statistic alarming. The idea that violations of such

a grotesque nature occur so frequently in America makes me sick

inside.

After the alleged sexual assault of a 23-year-old Fort Collins

woman on the morning of Oct. 2, the issue of rape and sexual

assault were brought home and brought to light for Fort Collins.

Few people know just how often rape occurs. Within a standard

school year, 3 percent of college women will be victims of an

attempted or completed rape, according to the USDOJ. That’s far too

many in my eyes.

If anyone has been raped or assaulted, then the crime should be

reported. It’s not right for the victim to feel as though he or she

must keep the incident a secret. It isn’t the fault of the victim,

nor is the crime in anyway justifiable.

Often the victim knows his or her attacker. In 2000

approximately 66 percent of rape or sexual assault victims knew

their assailant, according to NCVS. This may make it more difficult

for the victim to come forward, sometimes out of fear that he or

she will be blamed or disbelieved. No one should be silent.

The highest risk years are 12 to 34. However, girls 16- to

19-years-old are four times more likely than the general population

to be victimized, according to the RAINN Web site. Men are also at

risk for rape and sexual assault.

So, what do you do if you have been raped? Go to the police or

hospital immediately. You may feel dirty and want to shower or

brush your teeth, but that will wash away much of the evidence that

can be used to convict your assailant of the crime.

Often after being raped, victims will feel numb or experience

feelings of disbelief. They may be preoccupied with thoughts and

feelings of the rape, which may cause flashbacks, nightmares, or

painful memories of the event, according to the Rape Treatment

Center in Santa Monica, Calif., part of the UCLA medical

center.

It’s hard to understand the effect rape can have on an

individual. Guilt, shame, anger and depression are all feelings

that may occur within the victim. They may also experience physical

symptoms like difficulty sleeping, headaches and stomachaches,

according to the Rape Treatment Center.

Family and friends may feel helpless because they are unable to

help their loved one, but how can anyone fully grasp what its like

to be hurt in such a way unless it has happened to them?

Healing is a process that takes a long time after the event.

Friends and family as well as the victim should talk to a counselor

and try to be patient as everyone works through all the emotions

and trauma.

I believe that within every person there is the strength to

survive incidences such as these. Not everyone who is raped or

assaulted needs to consider him or herself a victim. There is no

justification for what was done, but the power to change the

outcome lies within the hands of those who were affected.

Those who survive something so degrading are incredibly strong.

With each person who fights back for his or her right to freely

walk the streets without fear of being raped or assaulted, the

larger chance we have at winning the battle.

Some of this may sound redundant, but until rape and sexual

assault are just bad memories, the truth needs to be heard.

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