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Misconceptions About Rape

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Our society as a culture, has created a stigma and unrealistic beliefs regarding rape and why it happens. Because of these stigmas, we have many myths and misconceptions about what a rape is. We lack the ability to empathize by strengthening our views on victim blaming. Without the confrontation of these misconceptions, rape will always be looked at as a victim issue with excuses geared towards the victims wrong-doings. Until we dissect these myths, rape will never be viewed as egregious as other violent crimes in our country. Some of these misconceptions and myths are as follows:

1. The basis of rape consists of "intense sexual desire". In reality, rape is an incredibly violent act perpetrated upon a victim. Its intent is to "express
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Some women are simply "asking for it, therefore they deserve to be raped". Nobody deserves or asks for a sexual assault to happen. It does not matter what the victim was wearing, what she was drinking, the fact that she was on a date, or that she may have left her doors unlocked. ((Crisis Intervention in Criminal Justice and Social Service, Hendricks & Hendricks, P.292).

4. Women who take extra pre-cautions "do not get raped". No woman is safe from rape, regardless of any extra pre-cautions she may take. There is never guaranteed protection from such an act. (Crisis Intervention in Criminal Justice and Social Service, Hendricks & Hendricks, P.292)

5. It is not possible to rape a victim who "wants to be raped". Nobody wants to be raped, and all victims have a different reaction to their attack. Some women fight back, others are paralyzed with fear, some women are quiet and some scream for help. None of these responses are ever indicators that a victim wants to be raped. (Crisis Intervention in Criminal Justice and Social Service, Hendricks & Hendricks, P.292).

6. If a woman can no longer fight off her attacker, she should just simple "lay down and enjoy it". Rape will never be a pleasurable experience for a victim. It simply cannot be enjoyed when someone is being forced, threatened or harmed into a sexual situation. (Crisis Intervention in Criminal Justice and Social Service, Hendricks & Hendricks,
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One of the main reasons why a rape or continued rape may go underreported is because of the relationship between the victim and the perpetrator. If the intimacy begins to build with on-going abuse, it can create a bond or a "relationship" between the victim and the perpetrator, sometimes manipulating the victim into believing the sexual assault is normal. When a victim is being abused by a romantic partner, an ex partner or a spouse, it can be viewed as a simple "misunderstanding" between lovers. In fact, according to our text book "Traditionally, marital rape was not considered to be a crime, but recent statutory changes recognize it as a crime, at least under some circumstances." Other reasons for victims to not cooperate or fear to report are as follows: "fear of disbelief from authorities, fearing that without significant injuries that the rape will not be taken seriously, harmful publicity, retribution from the rapist, insensitive treatment by law enforcement and hospital staff, rejection by mate or family, blame for the rape". (Crisis Intervention in Criminal Justice and Social Service, Hendricks & Hendricks, P.295). A study was also done that found that age, race and marital status of the victim can play large role in reporting the

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