Rape Crisis

Our society is sunk in a rape crisis. Our women most especially are under attack from the psychopath. Rape has become a global phenomenon and it deserves to be tackled with all seriousness.

Rape is a monstrous act (forced sexual intercourse) played when one party wishes to exact absolute power and control over another.

A recent national survey found that 1 in 10 women in Africa experience sexual assault during their lifetime

Rape is always a traumatic experience that impacts its victims in a physical, psychological, and sociological way and this happens any time sexual intercourse takes place without consent. Circumstances can indicate your lack of consent include,

  • Inability to give consent due to age
  • Due to diminished capacity, or 
  • Inebriation

And of course, any time you say No to intercourse and it is forced on you, that is rape. It doesn’t matter if you said “No” in the middle of the act, it is still rape if the other party doesn’t immediately stop and respect your wishes. You have the right to rescind consent at any time, under any circumstances.

Sometimes it is considered rape even if you do not say No such as in the case where a weapon is used. Or you are too concerned about your life or safety to say No. This is still considered rape. Threats against others may also constitute too grave a threat. It still is considered rape even if you;

  • Didn’t physically fight back
  • Used to date or were friends with the perpetrator
  • Are married or engaged to the rapist 
  • Do not remember the rape
  • Willingly ingest drugs or alcohol etc.

Related story; The reason you should stop wearing revealing clothes to welcome a visitor.

There are several types of rape

You might be wondering if we have different types of rape. Yes, we do and it’s categorized based on who is committing the rape, who the rape victim is and the specific actions involved in the rape

Diminished Capacity Rape
The type of rape known as diminished capacity rape is committed when one person forces sexual penetration on another person who cannot consent to the sex act due to limited physical or intellectual ability.

Age-Related Rape
This type of rape is often known as statutory rape as specified both in federal and state law. In this case, sexual actions with a person below a minimum age are considered illegal in all cases. There is often another age, known as the age of consent. Sexual acts with a person above the minimum age but below the age of consent may be considered rape depending on the perpetrator.

Incest
Incest is a type of rape dictated by two parties that are closely related.

Partner Rape
Partner rape, also known as spousal rape or marital rape, is a type of rape involving a person’s partner or previous partner.

Acquaintance Rape
Acquaintance rape happens between two people that know each other. Often acquaintance rape is known as “date rape” as the two people involved may be in a social relationship at the time

Aggravated Rape

Aggravated rape is a type of rape defined in the law as 

• Forced sex acts by the threat of death or serious bodily injury

• Compulsion sex involving an unconscious or drugged victim

• Sex acts with children under the age of 12

The aftermath of Rape; the pain, guilt and trauma

Even though the effects and aftermath of rape are different among victims, individuals tend to suffer from similar issues. The aftereffect involves a cluster of severe and persistent physical and psychological pains. Victims must receive comprehensive care that addresses both the short and long-term effects of rape as they become apparent.

Victims of extremely violent rape, or those who were assaulted repeatedly or at a very young age, may need treatment for the rest of their lives. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 1 in 10 women are raped or sexually assaulted at some point in their lives, often by someone they know and trust. And sexual assault isn’t limited to women; many men and boys suffer rape and sexual trauma each year.

Regardless of age or gender, the impact of sexual violence goes far beyond any physical injuries. The trauma of being raped or sexually assaulted can be shattering, leaving the victim feeling scared, ashamed, and alone or plagued by nightmares, flashbacks, and other unpleasant memories.

The victims feel the world doesn’t feel like a safe place anymore. You no longer trust yourself or other people. Sometimes, you may question your judgment, your self-worth, and even your sanity. It might come to a point where you might blame yourself for what happened or believe that you’re “dirty” or “damaged goods.” Relationships feel dangerous, intimacy is impossible. And on top of that, like many rape survivors, you may struggle with PTSD, anxiety, and depression.

Physical Effects of Rape

Physical effects of rape could be from a forced sexual assault and those not involving violent submission, such as drug-assisted date rape. Forced sexual assault usually causes visible injury or bleeding in and around the vaginal or anal area and bruises on other parts of the body from coercive violence. But both forced and other types of rape can have many other physical consequences like Painful intercourse, Urinary infections, Pregnancy
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) – HIV, genital warts, syphilis, gonorrhoea, chlamydia, and others

Psychological Effects of Rape

Victims undergo both short and long-term psychological effects of rape. One of the most popular psychological consequences of rape is self-blame. Victims use self-blame as an avoidance-based coping tool. Self-blame slows or, in many cases, stops the healing process. Other common emotional and psychological effects of rape include

  • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) 
  • Depression
  • Flashbacks memories of rape as if it is taking place again
  • Sleep disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Dissociative identity disorder
  • Guilt
  • Distrust of others – uneasy in everyday social situations
  • Anger
  • Feelings of personal powerlessness – victims feel the rapist robbed them of control over their bodies etc.

The Stigma of Being Raped

Rape victims endure the immediate physical and mental trauma of the actual event as well as many on-going psychological challenges. As if these challenges aren’t enough, a strong and significant stigma of being raped persists. Victims must deal with added shame, arising from the stigma-laden reactions of others that know about the rape, or when they voiced out.
The stigma of being raped can make survivors feel as if they’re getting raped all over again. Most time, people frequently don’t even realize that their comments and reactions humiliate sexual assault victims.

When a spouse, partner, sibling, or other loved one has been raped or sexually assaulted, it can generate painful emotions and take a heavy toll on your relationship. You may feel angry and frustrated, be desperate for your relationship to return to how it was before the assault, or even want to retaliate against your loved one’s attacker. But it’s your patience, understanding, and support that your loved one needs now, not more displays of aggression or violence.

Let your loved one know that you still love them and reassure them that the assault was not their fault. Nothing they did or didn’t do could make them culpable in any way.

Let’s collectively kick against rape and sexual assault at all level.
#SayNoToRape

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