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Although in today’s society sex is often used by both men and women to acquire power

or control over one another by offering it, withholding it, or having it, rape is different because

rape is forcing someone to have sex without consent and is a violation of one person by another.

Rape is a sexual assault. Every state has different terms of classifying what rape is. The legal

term of rape is when the victim has had some form of penetration in order for it to be rape.

Some feel that if a woman dresses provocative or sexy this brings unwanted attention and

this can cause her to be a victim of rape. In my opinion it does not matter how a woman dresses,

if she does not give proper consent to have sexual intercourse, no still means no! No matter the

form of sexual acts whether it is vaginal, anal or oral these are forms of penetration. Rape even

extends to married couples. If you tell your spouse no and he/she forces you to have sex, this is

classified as a sexual assault or rape.

It is illegal for a spouse to force you to have sexual contact against your will. Again,

sexual assault is unwanted sexual contact against your will. Women are often assaulted or raped

by total strangers and not even knowing who the individual is. However, the circumstances can

change due to knowing your attacker and this makes the situation unbearable.

For many generations women have been socialized to surrender their worth, power and

authority to men and play a secondary supportive role in a world that many men want to

dominate. Rape is classified as oral, anal, or vaginal penetration that involves threats or force

against an unwilling person. Rape can affect women, children and men. Even though I have

elaborated on sexual assault I will reflect more on rape and how rape affects women in general.

Rape represents the ultimate surrender of power, independence, and control.

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The surrender is not by choice but necessary to ensure one’s survival and leads to the

destruction of a woman’s feelings of personal power and self-worth. The rapist wants to gain a

sense of his own power and worth to take from the woman what he does not already feel inside

himself. Myths about rape have survived in our society for so long because they have a number

of social functions. The belief in rape a myth allows people to feel safe by believing that rape

doesn’t happen or not often, or that if it does, it is because the woman secretly wanted to be

raped. Rape will not be stopped until the myths about rape are recognized as myths.

The myths enable us to maintain our beliefs that we live in a just world. They also allow

us to believe that we can prevent future rapes. These so called myths keep women unequal to

men, living under their control and in need of their protection. This is how men feel that they

dominate women because they feel that we need a man to protect us. Until we and people in

positions of power and influence understand the real true meaning and motives of rape.

We all must work toward true equality and respect of women and their value in our

society. If you have been raped, you are not alone and there is no reason for you to suffer alone.

Once a rape has taken place and the woman has survived, an intensely personal struggle begins

for her to recover, to take back control of her body and life, and even to build a stronger identity

as a result of what has taken place with her. Being a survivor of rape, a woman must learn to

identify her inner strengths and resources and to organize herself to guide her own life and fully

recognize her potential. She does not need to remain the victim, powerless by the trauma and

resigned to a life of quiet desperation.

If she chooses to seek professional help in working through the painful stages of

emotional and physical recovery, the help is out there and it does help to talk about it with a

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professional counselor. However, this would be a time for her to re-evaluate her vulnerabilities

and weaknesses and to set new goals that maximize her strengths and to develop strategies that

will utilize her abilities to attain her goals. Even though she has been victimized, she is a

survivor who can change the outcome of this outrage of her assault into an opportunity for

recovery, change, growth and a way to help other women who have become victims of this

senseless and violent crime. From a personal stand point, often rape survivors have given their

time, energy, and personal resources to see that survivors of rape have someone to turn to who

understands, cares, and believes them.

Symptoms of rape can be a very traumatic event. The emotional reactions change greatly

and may include:

 Confusion

 social withdrawal

 Tearfulness

 Nervousness or seemingly inappropriate laughter

 Numbness

 Hostility and fear.

Women that have been raped may have a variety of other physical concerns that needs to

be addressed. Physical abuse is often present. Emergency room staffs are specially trained in

dealing with all of these various situations such as rape.

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Breakdown by Gender and Age

Women (RAINN 2009)

1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape

in her lifetime (14.8% completed rape; 2.8% attempted rape).

 17.7 million American women have been victims of attempted or completed rape.

 9 of every 10 rape victims were female in 2003.

While about 80% of all victims are white, minorities are somewhat more likely to be

attacked.

Lifetime rate of rape /attempted rape for women by race:

 All women: 17.6%

 White women: 17.7%

 Black women: 18.8%

 Asian Pacific Islander women: 6.8%

 American Indian/Alaskan women: 34.1%

 Mixed race women: 24.4%

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Men

About 3% of American men — or 1 in 33 — have experienced an attempted or

completed rape in their lifetime.

 In 2003, 1 in every ten rape victims was male.

 2.78 million Men in the U.S. have been victims of sexual assault or rape.

Children

 15% of sexual assault and rape victims are under age 12.3

 29% are age 12-17.

 44% are under age 18.3

 80% are under age 30.3

 12-34 are the highest risk years.

 Girls ages 16-19 are 4 times more likely than the general population to be victims

of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault.

 7% of girls in grades 5-8 and 12% of girls in grades 9-12 said they had been

sexually abused.

 3% of boys grades 5-8 and 5% of boys in grades 9-12 said they had been sexually

abused.

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In 1995, local child protection service agencies identified 126,000 children who were

victims of either substantiated or indicated sexual abuse.

 Of these, 75% were girls.

 Nearly 30% of child victims were between the age of 4 and 7.

 93% of juvenile sexual assault victims know their attacker.

 34.2% of attackers were family members.

 58.7% were acquaintances.

 Only 7% of the perpetrators were strangers to the victim.

Effects of Rape

 There are a variety of physical injuries from rape that include pain,

bruises, irritation and tenderness in the vaginal area, vaginal and anal

bleeding, and tearing in the vaginal and rectal area. If the victim has been

thrown to the ground there may be other injuries such as skin insults and

contusions.

 The victim suffers from severe emotional side effects immediately after a

rape. These can be expressed as personal crises where the victim relives

the fear, agony or anxiety, mixed with emotional numbness. For most rape

victims, the reactions begin days or weeks after the rape and decrease after

two to six months. However, disturbing emotions combined with low self-

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respect and sexual dysfunctions may last for a year or longer for others

who struggle with self issues such self-esteem as well.

 Defense methods such as denial, suppression and dissociation are very

common in rape victims. The purpose of suppression is to block out strong

emotions by escaping the painful feelings for a while which can be

psychologically exhausting.

 Denying or putting the worst parts of the assault out of the memory will

allow the victim to avoid the immediate distress.

 Dissociation can be used as a defense mechanism which can be engaged

during a painful physical or psychological abuse that seems to be

impossible to escape from. It can also be a survival technique that

provides a feeling of leaving one's body, making the trauma harder to

remember, especially in detail form.

Defense mechanisms such as these may have an affect on the victim's ability and

motivation to talk about the abuse they suffered. This is something that must be considered by

professionals during questioning, by health care personnel, researchers as well as when

evaluating research results.

 Additional long lasting traumatic reactions following rape may be hyper-vigilance

this pertains to avoidance of certain thoughts, feelings and situations that remind

the victim of the abuse, and strong reactions to sudden mental images. Avoidance

behaviors serve as a psychological defense against severe anxiety and tend to be

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long lasting. According to researchers it states that a person's normal work

capacity may be disrupted for as long as eight months after the rape.

 Depression is the most common effects of rape in which can last for months.

 Suicidal thoughts and attempts to commit suicide can or will happen and sleep

disturbances are very common in rape victims, especially if the victim was

assaulted in her own bed.

Examples of how a victim's lifestyle may change after rape are:

 She may stop opening the door if alone at home

 She will stop using the Laundromat, avoid going out after dark

 She will avoid social interactions, especially with men.

The side effects of a Rape victim

 3 times more likely to suffer from depression.

 6 times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

 13 times more likely to abuse alcohol.

 26 times more likely to abuse drugs.

 4 times more likely to contemplate suicide.

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 You are more likely to abuse sex such as sleeping around with anyone.

The Rapist isn't a Masked Stranger (RAINN, 2009)

 Approximately 2/3 of rapes were committed by someone known to the victim.

73% of sexual assaults were perpetrated by a non-stranger.

38% of rapists are a friend or acquaintance.

28% are an intimate.

7% are a relative.

He's not Hiding in the Bushes

 More than 50% of all rape/sexual assault incidents were reported by victims to have

occurred within 1 mile of their home or at their home.

• 4 in 10 take place at the victim's home.

• 2 in 10 take place at the home of a friend, neighbor, or relative.

• 1 in 12 takes place in a parking garage.

43% of rapes occur between 6:00pm and midnight.

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 24% occur between midnight and 6:00am.

 The other 33% take place between 6:00am and 6:00pm.

The Criminal

 The average age of a rapist is 31 years old.

 52% are white.

 22% of imprisoned rapists report that they are married.

 Juveniles accounted for 16% of forcible rape arrestees in 1995 and

17% of those arrested for other sex offenses.

 1 in 3 sexual assaults, the perpetrator was intoxicated — 30% with

alcohol, 4% with drugs.

 In 2001, 11% of rapes involved the use of a weapon — 3% used a

gun, 6% used a knife, and 2 % used another form of weapon.

 84% of victims reported the use of physical force only.2

Rapists are more likely to be a serial criminal than a serial rapist.

46% of rapists who were released from prison were re-arrested within 3 years of

their release for another crime.

 18.6% for a violent offense.

 14.8% for a property offense.

 11.2% for a drug offense.

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 20.5% for a public-order offense.

How often does sexual assault occurs?

In 2007, there were 248,300 victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault. (These

figures do not include victims 12 years old or younger.)

Every 2 minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted.

Here's the math. According to the U.S. Department of Justice's National Crime

Victimization Survey -- the country's largest and most reliable crime study -- there were 248,300

sexual assaults in 2007 (the most recent data available).

There are 525,600 minutes in a non-leap year. That makes 31,536,000 seconds/year. So,

31,536,000 divided by 248,300 comes out to 1 sexual assault every 127 seconds, or about 1

every 2 minutes.

The Unvictims

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The unvictims means the same as victim. Victim somebody who is hurt or killed by

somebody or something, especially in a crime, accident, or disaster,(Encarta Dictionary, English

(North America). Sexual assault has fallen by more than 60% in recent years. Had the 1993

rate held steady, 6.8 million Americans would have been assaulted in the last 13 years.

But, thanks to the decline, the actual number of victims was about 4.2 million. In other

words, if not for the historic gains we've made in the last decade, an additional 2,546,420

Americans would have become victims of sexual violence. (RAINN, 2009)

Reporting the rape

Sexual assault is one of the most under reported crimes, with 60% still being left unreported.1

Males are the least likely to report a sexual assault, though they make up about 10% of all
victims.1

What happens to rapists when they are Caught and Prosecuted?

60% of rapes/sexual assaults are not reported to the police, according to a statistical

average of the past 5 years. Those rapists, of course, never spend a day in prison. Factoring in

unreported rapes, only about 6% of rapists ever serve a day in jail.

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You could know one another as friends, a date, relative, acquaintance, or from a long

time friend or your spouse. Often this is mixed in with domestic violence and sexual assault due

to how their partner uses abuse to sexual assault them but in their eye’s this is a form of make-up

sex. I know this sign because I have experienced this and I know that every woman has

experienced this in some way, form, shape, or fashion regardless if it’s verbal or physical. It is

said that sexual assault comes in many forms. It can be verbal, visual, and any forcible situation

that makes you join in unwanted sexual contact or attention is seen as a sexual assault.

Examples of this would consist of voyeurism, is when someone watches your private

sexual acts, exhibitionism is when someone exposes him or herself in public, incest is sexual

contact between family members, and sexual harassment. Although, sexual assault or rape can

happen to anyone including women, men, children, elderly, straight or gay. It simply does not

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matter if your chosen to be his victim you will suffer the consequences and some are not able to

snap out of it and some end up losing their minds.

Pregnancies Resulting from Rape

In 2004-2005, 64,080 women were raped. According to medical reports, the incidence of

pregnancy for one-time unprotected sexual intercourse is 5%. By applying the pregnancy rate to

64,080 women, RAINN estimates that there were 3,204 pregnancies as a result of rape during

that period. This calculation does not account for the following factors which could lower the

actual number of pregnancies:

 Rape, as defined by the NCVS, is forced sexual intercourse. Forced sexual

intercourse means vaginal, oral, or anal penetration by offenders. This includes

incidents where penetration is from a foreign object such as a bottle. Certain types

of rape under this definition cannot cause pregnancy.

 Some victims of rape may be utilizing birth control methods, such as the pill, this

will prevent pregnancy.

Some rapists may wear condoms in an effort to avoid DNA detection.

 Victims of rape may not be able to become pregnant for medical or age-related

reasons.

This calculation does not account for the following factors which could raise the actual

number of pregnancies:

 Medical estimates of a 5% pregnancy rate are for one-time, unprotected sexual

intercourse. Some victimization may include multiple incidents of intercourse.

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 Because of methodology, NCVS does not measure the victimization of Americans

age 12 or younger. Rapes of these young people could results in pregnancies not

accounted for in RAINN's estimates. (RAINN, 2009)

According to Linda Ledray (1986), you may have been raped but while the experience

was terrifying and hurtful, you may not have labeled it rape. There are many kinds of rape and

many circumstances in which it happens. Some are clear cut cases of rape and others are not.

While all states and most individuals recognize that rape is indeed a crime, the definitions vary

from state to state and individuals, leading to much confusion and ambiguity. In the past the legal

definition of rape was limited to vaginal penetration by a penis.

This meant that men could not prosecute if they were raped, that forced anal and oral sex

were not considered as rape and that vaginal penetration by an object or manipulation of the

genitals was not legally rape. As a result of the women’s movement and the entrance of more

women into legal professions these limitations have been established and addressed. Everything

from physical manipulation of the genitals to penetration by an object is considered legal sexual

assault in most states. Men now can prosecute after being raped, women raped by their husbands

or lovers can press charges, and charges can be brought against an assailant even if he or she is

the same sex as the survivor. Today criminal sexual conduct, sexual assault and rape are often

used interchangeably.

These terms refer to any sort of sexual contact without given consent between two or

more people regardless of their sex or marital status. Sexual contact may involve the sex organs

of one or both individuals including any penetration of the vagina or anus by a penis, hand, or

other objects.

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 ACQUAINTANCE RAPE: includes all situations in which you have met the

assailant prior to the assault or seen him on several occasions. He may live in your

area, apartment building or be the friend of a friend or you may ride the same bus

to work every day. Men that you meet in local bars and parties. At the end of the

evening the man offers to drive the woman home and ends up raping her in his car

or once she invites him into her home. Regardless of how or where the assault

happens if you are coerced or physically forced to have sex with someone against

your will, it is rape no matter how you look at it.

 STRANGER RAPE: is the easiest situation to identify rape by the absolute

stranger who jumps out of the bushes. This referred to as the blitz rape because

the rapist seems to come nowhere and after the rape is quickly gone. These are the

situation in which other people such as friends, the police, and medical personnel

are unlikely to blame you and you are less likely to blame yourself. When most

people think of rape it is the stranger rape that they usually picture and are the

most comfortable with as really being raped. Sixty percent of rape survivors

report being raped by a stranger. Stranger rape is also when someone forces you

to have unwanted sexual intercourse by someone the victim doesn’t know.

 MARITAL RAPE: recently most state rape statutes included a spousal exception

making rape by a husband legal and some still do. Some states Oregon and

Colorado for example exclude individuals in common law marriages from the

rape statutes. Can be classified as any unwanted intercourse or penetration

(vaginal, anal, or oral) taken by force, threat of force, or when the wife is unable

to consent. Laws that made rape by a husband illegal did not change until 1975.

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States such as Wisconsin, Nevada, North Dakota and New Mexico all consider

rape to be legal in the case of a married couple but illegal when there separated

and not living together and when in the process of separating and divorcing. The

belief by men and the legal system feels that the wife and children are the man’s

property and that they belong to the husband/father and he can basically do

whatever he pleases to them. This is not only evident in rape laws but in

enforcement of wife battering and child abuse laws.

 DATE RAPE: a type of sexual abuse that has transpired as a widespread

phenomenon is date rape. At some point during the date the male becomes

interested in sex and starts attempting to seduce his date with sexual advances.

When the female resists he becomes verbally and physically violent. The amount

of physical force or coercion the date rapist uses varies, although with each new

victim the violence escalates. Victims of date rape are not able to resist because

their reflexes are impaired by drug or alcohol intoxication making her an easier

target. In 1982 a study was done at Kent State University, one in four of more

than two thousand female students reported experiencing sexual aggression in the

form of threats, physical coercion or violence, even though they had not labeled

the experience rape. In addition one in eight stated that they had been raped but in

the same study at KSU, more than thirty percent of male students admitted to

using physical force or threats and coercion to get sex when the female was

unwilling to consent and four percent more admitted to using violence. The four

percent felt that violence was normal and acceptable and the female did not report

the rape nor did the assailant feel that they were a rapist. Even if you choose to go

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out on a date with a man and you end up having sex with him. If you decide not to

give permission to have sex and he forces himself on you it is considered rape and

it is not your fault. Regardless of how sexy you’re dressed, it still does not give

him the right to force you to have sex against your will.

 Gang rape is a group of people who participates in the rape of a single victim.

Gang rape happens as an attack or during private parties. Gang rapes are often

preplanned to varied degrees, but some planning always takes place. The assailant

may have a motive of revenge, for example to put an independent woman in her

place. Also this type of crime occurs in war time as a calculated strategy.

 SEXUAL HARASSMENT: there is still another form of sexual abuse that

happens too many of us on a daily basis. This category of small rapes includes the

verbal, sexual comments from men while passing by, in a club setting, walking

down the street or the undressing look that a man gives a woman. This includes

the compliments from men you know such as you have a nice body, nice pretty

breast and the line of you lost weight just so he can size you up. This happens as

well when he wants to give you a hug and this is unwanted and unappreciated.

These small rapes are very important because these are ways for the rapist to size

you up and see how easily you can be controlled and how close he can get to you.

 OFFICE RAPE: is another form of rape that is seldom reported is office rape.

The assailant may be the female’s boss, coworker, client or any combination of

these. This situation is very upsetting for the female. It carries the most

implications of guilt, shame, self blame and is the most blatant abuse of power by

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in positions of authority. Unfortunately, many women who are raped by their

bosses are so intimidated that they don’t classify this as rape and if she does she is

too afraid to report it because of the intimidation and others may find it hard to

believe that a woman could have been in the situation like this.

When drugs are involved it makes it easy for the assailant to rape because drugs and

alcohol are used to compromise an individual's ability to consent to sexual activity. In addition,

drugs and alcohol are used to reduce the resistance and memory of the victim of a sexual assault.

Acquaintance rape statistics

 Seventy-seven (77) % of completed rapes are committed by non-strangers

(Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1997). A woman is four times more likely to be

raped by an acquaintance than by a stranger (Illinois Coaliltion Against Sexual

Assault, 2002).

 Acquaintance rape is rarely reported to police. Less than 2% of acquaintance rape

victims reported the assault whereas 21% of women raped by strangers reported

the crime to police (Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault, 2002).

 Every year, an estimated one woman in eight in college is raped and in 85% of

those assaults the women knew their attacker (Texas Woman's University, 2007.

 31% of rape victims develop some form of Rape-related Posttraumatic Stress

Disorder. (National Center for Victims of Crime & Crime Victims Research and

Treatment Center, 1992). (National Center for Victims of Crime, 2010)

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Treatment for rape victims include having an examine done to test for sexually transmitted

diseases, pregnancy preventions, contacting a professional counselor and making sure that the

victim has support. As for the exam the victim has to endure these procedures so that enough

information is collected. If allowed the victim must come to emergency room without changing

clothes, showering, douching, or urinating. Such activities may alter or destroy evidence that

may can be helpful in identifying and prosecuting the rapist.

Causes of rape

A rapist will commit rape for different reasons, and a rapist may rape for different

reasons at different times. There is no way determining how a rapist will rape or what he will do

next. However, various cultural factors look as if to be part of the cause to rape.

Myths that contribute to date and marital rape are all considered to be dangerous acts:

• A man must have sex to prove his masculinity;

• When women say no to sex, they really mean yes, so men should ignore women's

refusals;

• If a woman engages in kissing or petting, she is obligated to engage in sexual

intercourse;

• What goes on between a husband and a wife is no one else's business; and

• The man should be head of the household.

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• These are dangerous myths that can lead to rape. (Burt 1991).

Traditional sexual characteristic roles prescribing female submission and male

dominance are linked to rape. (Muehlenhard, Danoff-Burg, and Powch, 1996). “Characteristics

of the culture and gender role socialization, however, do not explain why most men do not rape,

why some women rape men, or why rape occurs in gay and lesbian relationships in which both

people have experienced similar gender role socialization. Individual differences are also

important”. (Burt 1991).

Various people hold beliefs justifying rape more strongly than others. Men who rape tend

to believe more strongly in myths about rape, and they are likely to engage in fantasies about

coercive sex. (Drieschner and Lange 1999) In comparison with other men, rapists drinks heavily,

they begin having sexual experiences earlier, and there more likely to have been physically or

sexually abused as a child. (Berkowitz 1992; Ullman; Karabatsos; and Koss 1990)

Rape statistics

 In the United States, a rape is reported about once every five minutes.

 FBI Uniform Crime Report, 1997 Rape is called "the most underreported violent

crime in America." In a large national survey of American women, only 16% of

the rapes (approximately one out of every six) had ever been reported to the

police.

 Rape in America: A Report to the Nation, National Victim Center, 1992

In a study conducted by the Department of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control

and Prevention, researchers interviewed 8,000 women and 8,000 men. Using a definition of rape

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that includes forced vaginal, oral, and anal intercourse, the survey found that 1 in 6 women had

experienced an attempted rape or a completed rape.

At the time they were raped:

 22% were under the age of twelve

 54% were under the age of eighteen

 83% were under the age of twenty-five

Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Violence Against Women, Department of Justice,

1998. In the Rape in America study, 60% of the women who reported being raped were under 18

years old:

 29.3% were less than 11 years old

 32.3% were between 11 and 17

 22.2% were between 18 and 24

 7.1% were between 25 and 29

 6.1% were older than 29

 3.0% age was not available

Rape in America: A Report to the Nation, National Victim Center, 1992.

 Acquaintance rape is much more prevalent than stranger rape. In a study

published by the Department of Justice, 82% of the victims were raped by

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someone they knew (acquaintance/friend, intimate, relative) and 18% were raped

by a stranger.

 From a report on Violence Against Women based on data from the National

Crime Victimization Survey, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1995.

 In the Rape in America study, 80% of the girls and women who were raped were

victimized by someone they knew. Rape in America: A Report to the Nation

National Victim Center, 1992.

Many surveys have been performed to determine the occurrence and incidence of rape

and sexual assault. The differences in findings across these numerous surveys are related to how

rape and sexual assault are defined, characteristics of the sample selected for study, screening

questions, interviewer training and techniques, and other methodological and procedural issues.

However, in virtually every victimization survey conducted, the number of unreported rapes and

sexual assaults far exceeds those that are reported to authorities.

Alabama Statistics

Violence against women is a major criminal justice and health problem in Alabama. In

2005, 11percent of violence offenses committed in Alabama were domestic violence offenses.

These included 27 homicides, 204 rapes, 1,858 aggravated assaults and over 26,000 simple

assaults. There was 1, 515 reported rapes. In 68 percent of the rapes, the victim and offender

knew or were related to each other. As of 2003, Alabama’s domestic violence homicide rate is

twelfth in the nation. Alabama’s intimate homicide rate for females is 1.64 percent per 100,000.

[107]
While the rate of domestic violence in Alabama remains among the highest in the nation,

the state has seen a steady decline in domestic violence homicides since the completion of

criminal justice responses and expanded victim services. Domestic violence homicides in

Alabama declined from a high of fifty-six in 1996, the first year for which separate statistics

were collected, to thirty-three in 2004.

Age of Offenders (Table 39: Rape/Sexual Assault)


15-17 years old: 11%
18-20 years old: 15%
21-29 years old: 26%
30 and over: 45%
Other/unknown: 3%

Relationship of Offender to Victim (Tables 27 and 33)


Well Known: 33%
Casual Acquaintance:31%
Don't Know: 4%
Stranger: 32%
Overall: 65% of offenders were non-strangers

Location of Offense (Table 61)


At victim's home: 36%
Near home: 1%
Friend, Relative, Neighbor's Home: 24%
Other commercial building: 1%
On school property: 8%
Common yard, park, field, playground: 3%
On street other than near home: 9%
Other: 18%

Rape/Sexual Assault reported to police (Tables 91 and 96)


Overall only 38% reported
Age 12-19 reported 33% of the time
Age 20-34 reported 30% of the time

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Age 35-49 reported 62% of the time
Age 50-64 reported 37% of the time

Activity of victims at time of incident


Working or on duty: 11%
Going to or from work: 1%
Going to or from school: 3%
Going to or from other place: 4%
At school: 5%
Leisure activity away from home: 29%
Sleeping: 20%
Other activity at home: 25%
Other: 2%

No matter where you are you’re still not safe. You would think your home would be.

Consequences of Rape

There are many consequences of rape which includes shock and disbelief, confusion, fear

depression and anger. You will experience extreme and conflicting emotions such as the fears,

the rage, the panic attacks, worthlessness and the feelings of your going crazy. Having

flashbacks of the episode, rooms where the assault took place and nightmares are a positive sign

that your subconscious is dealing with events that your conscious mind may not be ready to deal

with. Memories remain buried affecting the victim lives, behavior and relationships.

According to the American Psychiatric Association (1994), Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

is the number one cause in rape victims. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is the development

of characteristic symptoms following exposure to a traumatic event that arouses intense fear,

helplessness, or horror, disorganized or agitated behavior. A multitude of stressors, both natural

and manmade, can be traumatizing. Naturally occurring stressors include, for example, natural

disasters and medical illnesses. Man-made events include accidents and acts of violence. Some

[109]
of these are single events with acute effects; others involve repeated or chronic exposure.

Exposure can come about through direct an experience with personal victimization or through

witnessing or learning about a traumatic event.

Symptoms are categorized into three clusters:

 Persistent re-experiencing of the stressor

 Persistent avoidance of reminders and emotional numbing

 Persistent symptoms of increased arousal

Intrusive re-experiencing may involve intrusive distressing recollections or dreams about

the trauma, acting or feeling as if the event were recurring, and intense distress or physiological

reactivity when exposed to reminders. At least one re-experiencing symptom is required for the

diagnosis.

The avoidance/numbing cluster includes both purposeful actions and unconscious

mechanisms:

 efforts to avoid thoughts, feelings, or conversations related to the trauma;

 efforts to avoid activities, places, or people reminiscent of the trauma;

 inability to recall important aspects of the trauma;

 Greatly decreased interest in important activities; feeling detached or estranged;

restricted affect; and a sense of a foreshortened future

[110]
 At least three avoidance and numbing symptoms, not present before the trauma,

are required for the diagnosis.

 The arousal cluster requires increased generalized arousal, including sleep

disturbance, irritability or outbursts of anger, difficulty concentrating, hyper

vigilance, and exaggerated startle response.

 At least two arousal symptoms, not present before the trauma, are required.

To qualify for a diagnosis, symptoms must continue for more than one month; they may

persist for months to years. Symptoms usually start within three months after exposure to trauma

but may be delayed and specific symptoms and their intensity or severity may change over time.

The symptoms have to cause clinically significant distress or impaired functioning, which may

be evident at home, work, or school, or in other settings and in interpersonal relationships.

Endorsement of some PTSD symptoms may be normal following trauma exposure, partial

symptomatology may be disabling and the full symptom complex may develop over time.

Treatment may be necessary even if all criteria are not met.

The diagnosis of PTSD

 Requires exposure to a traumatic stressor and can be challenging to make if

exposure is not obvious or if the victim does not reveal it.

 Symptoms fall into three clusters

 Intrusive re-experiencing

 Avoidance/numbing

 Arousal

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 An array of treatment modalities is used to treat the disorder, although the

comparative effectiveness of these modalities has not been well examined.

Hi my name is Valerie and let me tell you a little about my experience of PTSD. When I

was violently raped I suffered with PTSD and I was not able to function on a day to day basis. It

was so bad to the point that I could not handle staying alone, going to restroom, being around

others, doors, drinking heavily, I do not like low windows that are close to the ground and I

could not sleep at night. Fear basically took over my life. I did not like staying at home alone

because when I was raped I walked into my home alone and out jumps this guy from behind the

door. I could not stand for doors to be closed because I was so afraid that someone would jump

out so whenever I had to go to the bathroom or take a shower I had to have someone at the door

at all times talking to me just to ease my mind that it was safe.

The reason I do not like windows that are low to the ground. This is how the assailants

entered into my home. In order for me to cope with this assault was to drink to keep my mind off

of it in which helped me to stay up all night. I did not and could not sleep because every time I

went to sleep I could see the whole entire act happening to me over and over again. So in order

[112]
to not see it I would stay up all night and sleep some in the morning when I had someone there

watching me sleep.

As for the doors, I did not like to hear knocking because I was so afraid of opening the

door to see my attacker again. I did not sleep for an entire year. I also suffered with depression to

the point of not wanting to socialize with others especially the opposite sex. I could not go

outside I would constantly stay indoors and stared at the walls. I stopped all grooming. I even

had thoughts of suicide and I had to be committed because of this violent rape. My relationship

suffered and this made it difficult for me to deal with my trauma. I wasn’t capable of raising my

children for a year. I was seeing a professional counselor and I thank God for sending me to her.

Without her help I do not know where I would be today.

Rape Kit

A sexual assault evidence collection kit contains commonly available examination tools

such as:

• Detailed instructions for the examiner

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• Forms for documentation
• Tube for blood sample
• Urine sample container
• Paper bags for clothing collection
• Large sheet of paper for patient to undress over
• Cotton swabs for biological evidence collection
• Sterile water
• Sterile saline
• Glass slides
• Unwaxed dental floss
• Wooden stick for fingernail scrapings
• Envelopes or boxes for individual evidence samples
• Labels

Table 1

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Typical Examination for Alleged Rape
Category Specifics
General information Demographic data about the patient

Name, address, and phone number of the


guardian if the patient is under age

Name of police officer, badge number, and


department

Date, time, and location of examination


History Circumstances of attack, including

• Date, time, and location (familiar to


patient?)
• Information about assailants (number,
name if known, description)
• Use of threats, restraints, or weapon
• Type of sexual contact (vaginal, oral,
rectal; use of condom?)
• Types of extragenital injuries sustained
• Occurrence of bleeding (patient or
assailant)
• Occurrence and location of ejaculation
by the assailant

Activities of the patient after the attack,


such as

• Douching or bathing
• Use of a tampon or sanitary napkin
• Urination or defecation
• Changing of clothing
• Eating or drinking
• Use of toothpaste, mouthwash,
enemas, or drugs

Last menstrual period

Date of previous coitus and time, if recent

Contraceptive history ( oral contraceptives,


intrauterine device)
Physical examination General (extra genital) trauma to any area

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Genital trauma to the perineum, hymen,
vulva, vagina, cervix, or anus

Foreign material on the body ( stains, hair,


dirt, twigs)

Examination with Wood's lamp or


colposcopy when available
Data collection Condition of clothing (damaged, stained,
foreign material adhering)

Small samples of clothing, including an


unstained sample, given to police or
laboratory

Hair samples, including loose hairs


adhering to the patient or clothing, semen-
encrusted pubic hair, and clipped scalp and
pubic hairs of the patient (at least 10 of
each for comparison)

Semen taken from the cervix, vagina,


rectum, mouth, and thighs

Blood taken from the patient

Dried samples of the assailant's blood


taken from the patient's body and clothing

Urine

Saliva

Smears of buccal mucosa

Fingernail clippings and scrapings

Other specimens, as indicated by the


history or physical examination

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Laboratory testing Acid phosphatase to detect presence of
sperm*

Saline suspension from the vagina† (for


sperm motility)

Semen analysis for sperm morphology and


presence of A, B, or H blood group
substances‡

Baseline serologic test for syphilis in the


patient§

Baseline testing for sexually transmitted


diseases in the patient§

Blood typing (using blood from the patient


and dried samples of the assailant's blood)

Urine testing, including drug screen|| and


pregnancy tests

Other tests, as indicated by the history or


physical examination
Treatment, referral, Specify
physician's clinical
comments
Witness to examination Signature

Disposition of evidence Name of the person who delivered the


evidence and the person who received it.
Date and time of delivery and receipt
*This test is particularly useful if the assailant had a vasectomy, is
oligospermic, or used a condom, which may cause sperm to be absent.
If the test cannot be done immediately, a specimen should be placed in
a freezer.

This test should be done by the examining physician if it can be done
in time to detect motile sperm.

In 80% of cases, blood group substances are found in semen.
§
This test is not recommended by all authorities because evidence of
preexisting sexually transmitted diseases may be used to discredit the
patient in court.

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||
Many authorities recommend not including comments or tests
regarding the presence of alcohol or drugs in the patient because
evidence of intoxication may be used to discredit the patient in court.

THE VICTIM

I know how it feels to be the victim of rape/assault. I know the emotional side effects.

The reason I know about rape is because I was a victim of a rape/assault. Being a victim of this

[118]
crime turned my life upside down. Rape can happen to anyone and it does not matter how you’re

dressed, or how you carry yourself.

If a rapist sets his mind to rape he will do just that. I was in a long time relationship and

dealt with only one man. I had changed my lifestyle and I no longer was a dancer in the clubs. I

wore long dresses and kept to myself. I stopped dressing provocative and started to slow my life

down because I was a mother and I was trying to have another baby but ended up miscarrying.

I knew that my life was changing because the things I use to do like partying, drinking

and hanging out started to bore me. On the weekends me and my girls would get together and go

shopping for our club outfits and drink during the day. As we say we would wild out before the

club starts jumping. We would do our ‘thang’ all that day and come home after running around

all day and take a beauty nap and hit the streets all night clubbing. This lifestyle became very

tiresome to me and I desired a change and so I started to slow down. It’s like the devil gets angry

when he knows a change is about to take place and your desire to change over from bad to good.

Well that’s where I was and it felt like as soon as I wanted to change my life the enemy wanted

to take me out. The devil was truly angry with me. I did party like a rock star and loved every

minute of it. I wanted to know who Jesus was and what he stood for and then my life changed. It

was like I was taking part of a marriage vow, FOR BETTER, FOR WORSE IN SICKNESS

AND HEALTH, and then my life changed.

On April 1996, I left my home with girlfriend to go out clubbing. All that day I felt

something but I could not put my finger on it. Upon returning home as we pulled up all the lights

were on in my house. I said to myself why in the world is every light on in the house? Well as I

got out the car and walked up to my door, I opened it and as I stepped inside I see a strange boy

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standing in front of me. He says close the door. As I closed the door my purse fell and hits the

floor and another boy jumps behind me with a gun held to my head. You see I wasn’t wearing

provocative clothing but a long dress and kept to myself.

I seriously thought this was a joke and screamed but all the while they were there looking

to rob and take whatever they could. He actually wanted my boyfriend because of his hydraulic

show car. At the time my boyfriend fixed on older model cars that they would entire into Low

Rider car shows in Atlanta. He asked me where my boyfriend was and I said I don’t know where

he is. As I looked at the younger boy I felt that he did not want to do this but he took orders and

did what he was told too. The guy behind me that held me at gun point with the gun up to my

head, he told me to go into my room.

He kept pushing me and pushing me down the hall. It felt like a never ending hallway.

Once in my room he shoved me on the bed and I begged and pleaded with him not to do this

because I just had a miscarriage. He said shut up and threw the covers over my face and

proceeded to rape me. All I could see was my life flash before my eyes like a film strip. I saw my

own funeral, my kids screaming and hollering.

I knew at that moment I was going to die. He kept saying just kill her and if she moves

shoot her. The sick part about it was that he used a sandwich bag for a ‘condom’ to rape me with.

If you could only imagine the emotional feelings I felt when this happened. On one point I was

relieved that something was used verses him penetrating me without a condom. I wanted to

throw up so bad but I was constantly fighting for my life mentally and physically through the

whole ordeal.

[120]
After he felt that he was finished with me he then tied me up like I was some kind of

animal. He tied my hands and feet together with belts and a telephone cord and threw the covers

completely over me and before I knew it I heard a voice say to me ‘Valerie move your head over

and lie very still as if you were dead’. He threw the television that was in my room on top of my

head as he thought he did. If I had not moved my head over it would had killed me. As I was

lying on the bed I heard him say shoot her, just shoot her.

He ran to the window in my kid’s room to see who had pulled up but it was no one. He

said to the other person, if that nigga’ pulls up just start shooting. Kill that nigga’. I have never

prayed so hard before in my life to live. I then heard them scrambling around in the living room

and all of a sudden it got really quiet. I waited and waited it felt like forever and I wiggled my

way loose and when I didn’t hear anything else I ran for dear life.

I did not have any clothes on and I ran to my next doors neighbor’s house where she

called the police. I was then taken to the hospital where I had to explain what happened and a

rape kit was performed on me. Going through the experience of having a rape kit performed is

very embarrassing. The questioned asked are the most embarrassing. What is performed is even

worse. They want to know everything such as when was the last time you were sexually active,

how many partners, did you know the person, how many attackers were there, how many raped

you and the list goes on.

Well in my case there was only one attacker while the other person watched even though

it was two individuals in my home it was still a hard pill to swallow. This is a horrible feeling to

endure and to mentally and physically wrap your mind around this is insane. Once I got to the

hospital a ton of questions started coming at me and it was very frustrating and over whelming. I

[121]
had to go through having a rape kit performed on me and it felt just as worse as being raped all

over again. Mentally you have to be a strong person to wrap your mind around all this.

After the doctors were done, I had to talk with the police. This was even harder. I had to

sit and look through pictures of mug shots of men. I was so traumatized that I blocked out

everything including the assailants. Being a victim of a violent rape has its ups and downs. I

suffered a great deal but having to go through the trial makes it more difficult.

After the US Marshalls found them I thought that I could rest now, well that was not the

case. During the trial he talked his brother into trying to kill me so that I could not testify against

him. Once I was done in court his brother would leave when I left and he tried following me

home. I had to have a police escort until we lost him. Court proceedings can turn out to be good

but on the other hand it can be a living hell. With all this going on it caused me to lose sleep

again.

I started having panic attacks and anxiety attacks due to all the stress. I would pace the

floor and I started back drinking again. By this time I had stopped seeing my counselor and I

would not advice this. During a trial hearing you need your counselor to help with the stress and

other medical issues that may arise such as my panic attacks and anxiety attacks I started

experiencing again. Well as I proceed through the court hearing it was horrible but I am so

thankful for my assailants being caught and put away for life. I would not wish this on any

person to deal with.

But I can say today I am a sane woman living for the Lord with my health and strength

and I am in my right mind. Oh yeah I forgot to mention that I had lost mind through this as well.

I know that God is real. When I was going through and not being able to take care of myself nor

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my children. I know for a fact that I had an encounter with God. God came to me and pulled me

from off the couch.

It was like God reached inside my body and pulled me out and stood me beside Him and

said. “IS THIS THE PERSON I KNOW? THIS IS NOT YOU. YOU MUST FIGHT THROUGH

THIS. YOU’RE CHILDREN!! YOU’RE ALL THEY HAVE, SO YOU MUST FIGHT

THROUGH THIS. FIGHT VALERIE, YOU MUST FIGHT”. I could see myself sitting on the

couch slumped over drooling from the mouth. The more I think about this it brings chills to me

and I cry because I know God is truly real in my life. I know that he kept me from so many

dangerous situations and I know that he truly has a plan for my life. I know that God will allow

us to go through situations in order to help the next person through. I pray that will and can

understand my story and I hope that you will have an open mind and heart once you read this.

Looking at me today you would have never placed me in a situation as horrifying as this.

God is able. I just want to give my thanks to my counselor Judy Johnson for believing in me and

always praying for me in our sessions. If God did not use you to cover me, protect me, and

inspire me to live life and you taught and showed me what an independent woman I could be.

And now I will reflect on how traumatic a court hearing can be to the victim. I was awarded

compensation along with a letter from the assailant calling me his “Black African Queen”. How

sick is this. When I say I endured I did. He continued to write me and I just started giving them

to the police department to make him stop. As of today I have heard of some contact from him

from a friend that was in prison and he made a comment about me and what he did to me. Other

than that I have not heard of anything. I thank God for that.

[123]
Being a victim of rape I still have my troubles at time like not being able to get out of my

car, walking in my house at day or night and I have to walk through my house with the front

door open to check all bedrooms, bathrooms, under the beds, closets and windows just to make

sure that I am in the house alone. So I say this because you can never truly get over being a

victim of this crime. I am so thankful and grateful for not turning to a drug filled lifestyle. I thank

God for keeping me because I know that it was only God that kept me in my right mind today. I

would not be here writing this paper if it had not been for Jesus. So I move forward in life I lean

on God for a better understanding of the things I endure in life because I know what God said

about living in fear.

For GOD hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a

sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7) I have placed all this in God’s hands he spoke these words, To

whom vengeance belongeth; O God, to whom vengeance belongeth, show thyself. (Psalm

94:1). But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared. (Psalm 130:4). Yes, I

have forgiven and now I am moving on with my life. I pray that what you have read so far on my

journey has opened your eyes and touched your heart in a mighty way. I pray that God has

blessed your soul. I will now share court documents and a letter of how life can change when a

victim has to be in a court room setting and not only that but to endure the letters from your

assailant.

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THE “IDEAL” WOMAN

PROVERBS 31:10-31

A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband
has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all
the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the
merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still dark she provides
food for her family and portions for her servant girls. She considers a field and buys it; out
of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are

[191]
strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at
night. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. She opens
her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. When it snows, she has no fear
for her household; for all them are clothed in scarlet. She makes coverings for her bed; she
is clothed in fine linen and purple. Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes
his eat among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies
the merchants with sashes. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the
days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She
watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her
children arise and call her blessed; her husband also and he praises her: Many women do
noble things, but you surpass them all. Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a
woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned, and let her
works bring her praise at the city gate.

Proverbs has a lot to say about women. How fitting that the book ends with a picture of a
woman of strong character, great wisdom, many skills and great compassion. Some have
the mistaken idea that the ideal woman in the Bible is retiring, servile, and entirely
domestic. Not so!! This woman is an excellent wife and mother. She is also a manufacturer,
importer, manager, realtor, farmer, seamstress, upholsterer and merchant. Her strength
and dignity do not come from her amazing achievements. However, they are a result of her
reverence for God. In our society where physical appearance counts for so much, it may
surprise us to realize that her appearance is never mentioned. Her attractiveness comes
entirely from her character.

The woman described in this chapter has outstanding abilities. Her family’s social position
is high. In fact, she may not be one woman at all. She may be a composite portrait of a ideal
womanhood. Do not see her as a model to imitate in every detail; your days are not long
enough to do everything she does!! See her instead as an inspiration to be all YOU CAN
BE!!! We can’t be just like her, but we can learn from her INDUSTRY, INTEGRITY AND
RESOURCEFULNESS.

CAN YOU FIND HER? DO YOU SEE HER? IS THIS YOU?

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[193]
What is a real man?
Real men will accept the responsibility of not harming another person.
A real man knows that it is never OK to force himself on a woman, even
if:
She teases you
Even if she dresses provocatively or leads you on
She says "NO" and you think she means "YES"
You’ve had sex with her before
You've paid for her dinner or given her expensive gifts
You think women enjoy being forced to have sex or want to be
persuaded
The women is under the influence of Alcohol or Drugs
Rape is a crime of violence. For the most part it is motivated by desire to
control and dominate, rather than by sex. No matter what “It is illegal”.
If you feel that you’re getting a double message from a woman, speak up
and clarify what she wants.
PLEASE!!! PLEASE!!! Do not ASSUME you know what your partner
wants.
Be sensitive to women who don’t know whether they want to have sex.
If you put pressure on them, you may be forcing them.
Do not ASSUME you both want the same degree of intimacy.
Stay in touch with your sexual desires. Do not let your desires control
your actions.

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Communicate your sexual desires honestly and as early as possible.
If you have any doubts about what your partner wants, (S.A.C) STOP.
ASK. CLARIFY.
Sexual excitement does not justify Forced Sex.
Do not ASSUME her desire for you is the same as the desire for
intercourse.
Not having sex or "scoring" does not mean you are not a "REAL MAN."
NO ONE ASKED TO BE RAPED. No matter how a woman behaves,
she does not deserve to have her body used in ways she does not want.
"No" means NO!!
Taking sexual advantage of a person who is mentally or physically
incapable of giving consent such as being DRUNK is rape.
The fact that you were intoxicated is not a legal defense to rape. You are
responsible for you actions, whether you are sober or not.
Be aware that a man's size and physical presence can be intimidating to
women. Many victims report that the fear they felt based on the man's
size and presence was the reason why they did not fight back or struggle.
A real man is loving and caring and shows a woman love.
A real man will not hurt a woman.
A real man is respectable.
A real man is woman’s PROTECTOR.
A REAL MAN WILL NOT ALLOW HARM TO COME TO A
WOMAN, REGARDLESS OF THE FACT…

[195]
Work Cited

1. Linda E. Ledray R. N, Ph. D. (1986). Recovering from Rape.

2. <a href="http://family.jrank.org/pages/1350/Rape-Causes-Rape.html">Rape - Causes Of


Rape</a>

3. Rape statistics. Office of Health Education. 2004-06.


http://www.vpul.upenn.edu/ohe/library/violence/statistics.htm

4. The Plan for the State of Alabama. Violence Against Women. 2006.
http://www.acadv.org/vawALstateplan2006.pdf

5. Medical Examination of the Rape Victims.


http://www.merck.com/mmpe/sec18/ch252/ch252a.html

6. National Center for Victims of Crime. Statistics on Acquaintance Rape. 2010.


http://www.ncvc.org/ncvc/main.aspx?dbName=DocumentViewer&DocumentID=32306

7. U.S. Department of Justice. 2007 National Crime Victimization Survey. 2007.

8. RAINN: RAPE ABUSE & INCEST NATIONAL NETWORK. 2009.

http://www.rainn.org/get-information/statistics/frequency-of-sexual-assault

9. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) - Prevalence, Epidemiology, And Co morbidity,

Etiology, Risk Indicators And Factors That Promote Resilience, Assessment And

Treatment - Conclusion - Gender, Family, and Development. <a

href="http://family.jrank.org/pages/1305/Posttraumatic-Stress-Disorder-

PTSD.html">Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) - Prevalence, Epidemiology, And Co

morbidity, Etiology, Risk Indicators And Factors That Promote Resilience, Assessment

And Treatment

10. American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-IV, 4th
edition. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association. (Page. 248).

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I can only say God is good and he is real because I am STILL HERE and I’M STILL

STANDINGING. I HAVE THE VICTORY. I HAVE A PURPOSE TO FULFILL.

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