Rape Part I: Physical Sexual Assault

Physical Sexual Assault and Rape
Sexual assault without consent is wrong, no matter what age a person is. It is taking the liberty of sexually violating another person without their permission or consent. Physical rape, rape by objects or using other body parts, sexual abuse, molestation, sex trafficking, indecent exposure, prostitution, and internet sex crimes, all are sexual crimes. Rapists have different ways of attacking their victims. A person can be a victim of a physical rape attack, with or without a weapon being used. It can occur anywhere as a forced situation by one person or a group of people who are known or unknown. Another approach is using drugs, alcohol, or spray to make the victim helpless unable to defend themselves. Sexual activity without consent is a violation and is against the law.

Portrait of the Victim
It would seem that the provocatively dressed women, with luring comments or seductive moves, lingering in questionable areas of town, late at night, would be the most likely to be raped. Surprisingly enough, this is not the case. Research has shown that victims of rape are more likely to be conservatively dressed passive women who are violated by people they know. In addition to the number of women who are raped, approximately 2.5% of the male population is raped per year. Rape does not just happen to women who put themselves in compromising situations. It can happen to anyone. Being aware of situations and practicing preventative measures helps in lowering the chance of being raped, but it is not foolproof.

Rape prevention programs can target the source of the problem by providing education on respect and the importance of observing boundaries. Rape cannot entirely be prevented, however, teaching women (and men) awareness of what to look for in their associations with people and how to be more cautious can help with preventing rape from happening.

Steps to Preventing the Possibility of Rape
Knowing what to look for and having a plan in place helps with being safe. Here are some ways to prevent the possibility of rape:

  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times
  • If you’re in college, know that the majority of rapes happen during the first few weeks of the year
  • Don’t leave your drink unattended
  • Drink responsibly
  • Stick with your friends
  • Stay safe at clubs
  • Be assertive
  • Keep personal information private
  • Always keep your phone charged

What to Do
With each situation being different, there is not one way to handle a rape situation. Here are some suggestions:

  • If able to, cause a distraction
  • Enlist others
  • Get loud, shout, and push back
  • Practice self-defense methods of aiming for areas of the body which can be damaged the easiest: eyes, nose, ears, neck, groin, knee, and legs
  • If unable to defend yourself in a struggle or where a weapon is involved, concede to the path of least resistance or safest possible position

    After a rape situation:
  • Ensure your safety and get medical attention
  • Call to report the situation afterwards to the police or a sexual abuse or rape crisis hotline

What to Look For
How can a person identify who might be a rapist? Here is a list of characteristics which are indicators of dangerous individuals. Avoid situations with someone who exhibits these characteristics or where a person could successfully use violence to attack you.
Source: www.nononsenseselfdefense.com.

Here is a list of danger signs to recognize in people who could be a threat:

1) Insensitivity for others/emphasis on self – Does this person put his wants above the needs, feelings or well being of others? Is getting his way more important to him than other people’s welfare? Often this can go beyond mere selfishness and border nearly on an “assumed divine right.” Often these people will justify a particularly vicious action with a flip comment like, “Hey, that’s how the game is played.” Such a person has no understanding that he must co-exist with others. Because he simply exists he thinks the world “owes” him whatever he wants. A common tactic of such a person it to make you feel bad for not doing what he wants.

2) Belittling behavior or attitudes towards others – Does this person habitually make nasty, belittling or degrading comments about others – especially under the guise of joking? Does this person think he is better than others? Does he look down on others? A nouveau riche aristocrat? Is he a racist? A person who thinks that race or social position makes him superior can also assume gender does too. When you think you are superior, an assumed right to ‘take’ what you want often follows.

3) Negating behavior or comments – Closely related to 1 and 2. Does he try to tell you what you are feeling or thinking? Or worse, tell you what you are not? Comments like “you don’t really mean that” are serious indicators of someone trying to negate you. A person who negates others is trying to take away the other person’s thoughts, feelings and needs and attempting to project his wants onto that person. The most obvious example of this is “Well even though she said ‘no’, she really meant ‘yes’”.

4) Hostile and/or threatening language – What words does a person use? Choice of words convey subconscious assumptions about a particular topic. For example a man who generically refers to women using profane names does not have good assumptions about females (or much respect). It is all too easy to dismiss this behavior as just “blowing off steam.” But if it is a constant behavior, it goes far beyond that. Someone who habitually uses violent or threatening language should be carefully watched for possible escalation. It’s on his mind already. It’s a uncomfortably short step from ‘thinking about’ to ‘doing’.

5) Bullying – This behavior is especially dangerous. Does this person use overt or subtle threats to get his way? A bully uses the threat of violence more than actual violence. Most often bullies are not willing to risk conflict with someone who can hurt them (an alpha male), and will instead chose to intimidate someone he considers weaker and safer. Someone who is bullying over other matters can easily turn to bullying you regarding sex. The close conversation subjects because it angers or upsets them or they will have a long and elaborate story how it really wasn’t their fault.

6) Excessive anger – How easy does this person anger? Is he a “Short Fuse”? Does he boil over at the slightest problem? This is an indication of chronic anger. A person who explodes over a minor issue is like a full pot boiling over on the stove. It’s not that the issue is all that important, but that he has so much anger already, any more causes him to explode. Often people with chronic anger look for targets to vent their anger at. This could manifest as physical fights, abuse, or rape.

7) Brooding/ revenge – Does this person hang onto his anger long after the situation is over? Will he still be stewing over something while everyone else has moved onto other things? Will he become anti-social and glare at the source of his anger from across the room? Will he insist on taking revenge for real or imagined slights? Both indicate a petty and obsessive personality. A brooder fixates on something and then works himself into a frenzy over it. A person who seeks revenge “has to win” and is willing to take it to extremes. Refusing such a person’s sexual advances can turn this tendency towards you.

8) Obsession – This is a close cousin to number seven. It is a major factor with acquaintance rapes. This is the person who won’t leave you alone. He insists on ‘hitting on you’ long after you have told him no. He is always trying establish forced intimacy (see ‘bonding process’ below). Such obsessions easily turn into anger when his advances are rejected. One day he shows up in a fringe area, drunk and attacks.

9) Extreme mood swings – Beware someone who can go from wildly happy to deeply wounded at a moment’s notice. This sort of personality can feel justified to commit an unlimited amount of violence and damage, because you “hurt his feelings.” This is a common pattern among those with chronic anger about life.

10) Physical tantrums – How does this person get angry? Especially when denied “getting his way”. Beware of a person who regularly physically assaults his environment i.e. hitting walls, kicking things etc. It is only a short step from striking a car to attacking you.

11) Jock or gorilla mentality – This mentality promotes both acceptance and encouragement for the use of violence. It is especially common among participants of contact sports. What is most insidious about this mentality is the “jock” receives, not only positive reinforcement, but out-and-out applause for being aggressive and violent. This can easily lead to a failure to differentiate between the playing field and real life. Mike Tyson’s comment is a prime example: “Nobody ever objected before.”

12) A mean drunk – Nearly all rape and abuse cases involve alcohol. Watch what surfaces when someone is intoxicated. It shows what is always lurking underneath. Do not put yourself into a situation where you would deal with such a person while he is intoxicated. Most importantly, don’t allow your facilities to be diminished by alcohol or drugs in this person’s presence.

13) Alcohol or drug abuse – To begin with drug and alcohol addiction can in be traced back to selfishness and a refusal to change one’s world view. Alcohol and drugs are not the cause of bad behavior, rather they are used as an excuse! Often the attacker intentionally became intoxicated to ignore the social restrictions and inhibitions regarding violence.

14) Smooth-talking individuals – These smooth-talkers can easily convince others into believing what they want them to believe. And the more you want to believe the less convincing he will have to do. But without this willingness to ignore common sense on your part, even the smoothest con-artist has no power and no chance to harm you.

While there are others, these behaviors are serious indicators of a potential rapist. This short list should acquaint you with the basics. Not all men are rapists, but a person like this has a higher probability than others. You not only find these traits among rapists and abusers, but also professional criminals. Philosophically there is little difference between such, they are all selfish. Most often it is just a matter of degrees, style and choice of victims.

Some rape situations cannot be prevented. Many times rapists will use sprays or drugs on the victim so they become unconscious before taking advantage of them. Being aware and cautious of where you are and who you are with can help prevent rape. In situations which cannot be prevented, be sure to report what you know and what happened as soon as possible. It may take several days or weeks, but in many cases the victim can recall at least part of what happened and can identify who was there.

Information from www.nononsenseselfdefense.com


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