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Rape And Sexual Assault Essay

1318 words - 5 pages

Rape is a serious problem with increasing occurrences. It is defined as “forcible sexual intercourse with a person who does not give consent” (Santrock, 2012). However, the legal definition of rape differ from state to state (Santrock, 2012). According to Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, RAINN, as of 2014 there are an average of 237,868 victims of rape and sexual assault each year (RAINN, 2014). With 525,600 minutes in a year, someone gets raped every 2 minutes. These numbers are astounding! However, they are greatly underrepresented because 60% of sexual assaults are not reported to the police. Rape or sexual assault can occur to anyone including women, children, and men, gay or straight.
Rape is a very traumatic experience for the victims. One in six American females will suffer from sexual assault or rape (RAINN, 2014). Females, along with males usually suffer from depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, pregnancy and many more (RAINN, 2003). In addition, victims “may suffer from adverse emotional consequences including feelings of ongoing fear, low-self esteem, self-blame, guilt and shock” (Branch et. all, 2013). Moreover, the largest group people diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder are survivors of sexual assault (Reid-Cunningham, 2009).
Even more shocking is the statistic that “15% of sexual assault and rape victims are under age 12; 29% are age 12-17; 44% are under age 18” and 80% are under age 30 (USDOJ). The ages 12-34 are the highest risk years (USDOJ). Furthermore, violence between intimate partners causes U.S. women to collectively lose about $727 million in wages from about 8 million days missed of work (“Facts about Violence”). While violence in women has statistically decreased over the last 20 years, it is difficult to tell whether it is because women are not reporting the assaults, or because women’s rights, education, laws and safety measures have come a long way.
Due to the media exposure, rape is usually thought of as a crime against females. However, one out of every 33 American men has been raped (RAINN, 2014). When heterosexual males get raped by another male, it can make them experience a fear that the assault will make them gay or “less of a man” (RAINN, 2003). Furthermore, when a homosexual male gets raped by another male it can feel as punishment for their sexual orientation (RAINN, 2003). Furthermore, “many fear they were targeted because they are gay. This fear may lead to withdrawal from their community” (RAINN).
Rape on males, as opposed to females, is underreported by a huge margin. For example, “as many as 1 in 6 young males will be raped or somehow abused before he reach the age of 18 years old. No less than 1 in 10 males on average will become a sexual assault or abuse victim in the United States” (RAINN). Furthermore, “male survivors may feel a particular sense of disturbance from the notion that they could not protect...

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