Invisible Scar

Sexual abuse plagues people of all shapes, sizes, ethnicity’s, and backgrounds. It can include anything from making a sexual reference, to someone feeling uncomfortable and even rape. In this project, we will break down the different types of sexual abuse and explain why they occur all over the world, every single day.

First it is best to define the most violent kind of sexual abuse, which is rape. Rape is the forceful or non-forceful attempt or action of a sexual act done to a person, without their consent. Rape is a non-consensual penile penetration of the vagina, anus, or mouth. Rape can also be described as sexual intercourse with a person, without their permission. Rape is accomplished by use of force by the assailant. Force can consist of many different things. It may refer to the use of verbal coercion, in order to coax the victim into sexual acts. It could also refer to actual physical restraint, in which the victim is restrained and unable to resist. Other examples of force are intimidation by verbal and physical threats, and in some cases, actual physical violence. These acts of force make it very difficult to a victim to resist sexual abuse such as rape.

There are many myths that try to justify rape as a normal sexual act. One myth is that rape is actually just sex. In fact, rape is a life-threatening act of violence. The rapist is never expressing a love or sexual desire; instead a need to feel powerful and dominating in a sexual context, is displayed. Another myth or stereotype about rape, is that most rapes occur on the street, by strangers or by drunken or out of control men. The fact is that fifty percent of rapes occur in the home. About eighty percent of the adult women that are raped are done so by close family or friends, not by strangers. Rapists can be anyone, from doctors, teachers, and bosses, to a partner, a friend, or even a date.

Sexual assault is one of the most serious and fastest growing crimes that face the world today. The National Victim Center reports that over seven hundred thousand women are raped or sexually assaulted annually. Sixty one percent of these rapes occur with women under the age of eighteen. Five percent of sexual assaults are inflicted upon males. Usually this statistic is not recognized and more often overlooked, because many people generalize that males are usually the abusers, and even if they weren’t, many males don’t even report their incidents. According to Keith Lewandowski, “Rape can be justified in many ways.? For instance, “After dating or spending money on a girl, or the girl is sexually experienced, one would expect sex.? In fact, no rape or sexual abuse can be justified. The act of rape is immoral and does not respect another person’s personal integrity.

Drugs and alcohol can play a large role in the occurrences of rapes and sexual abuses. As statistics show, seventy three percent of the abusers involved in rapes, and fifty three percent of the victims, had used drugs or alcohol to stimulate their minds, before the assault occurred. These acts of drug use help to cause the victims to be disoriented and it prevents them from resisting.

There are many effects of an act of rape or sexual assault. The psychological effects can include post-traumatic stress syndrome, and rape trauma syndrome, which can be identified by constant fear and being timid, helplessness, guilt, humiliation and depression, anger, and also embarrassment, among many other things. Victims of rape also tend to shy away from intimate relationships for fear of a reoccurrence of their traumatic experiences. There are also physical effects of these immoral acts. A victim may experience sexual dysfunction, a contraction of a Sexually Transmitted Disease (such as Aids and Herpes), and other obvious effects such as bleeding, abrasions, cuts, and death, if the assault is severe enough.

There are many support programs, clubs, and treatment centers for rape survivors. These are places where victims can openly discuss their traumatic experiences and try to get over them as a group. A few support programs in Massachusetts are the New England Learning Center for Women in Transition and the Rape Crisis Center in Central Mass. There are thousands of