By Denise A. Romano
Let’s clarify a few things since there are a few blogs that are perpetuating lies about our position on this, shall we?
Lady Raine and I have done our best to answer your questions on her blog, but the same questions keep pouring in.
For those of you who are interested, here is a link to an excellent PBS program about Happiness: http://www.pbs.org/thisemotionallife/series — This is what it says about relationships and their role in human happiness: http://www.pbs.org/thisemotionallife/topic/relationships
When we hear from more than 5 men who are PUAs or MRAs who denounce rape and all of the abusive Game techniques below, we’ll do a nice post all about them. And for those men, PUAs, and MRAs who denounce these methods, thank you for vocally doing so on various PUA and MRA blogs that enthusiastically incite rape and celebrate rape as a mens’ right. Until then, this is our message:
We’re NOT saying that ALL men or ALL PUAs are horrible; we know there are good ones out there. We’ve heard from a few whom we like very much.
We’re also NOT saying that ALL PUA “schools” are horrible, though we are saying that we believe MOST ARE negligent and misogynistic when it comes to recklessly failing to train men around CONSENT laws that relate to sexual assault and rape.
We’re also NOT saying men don’t have a right to want sex, to be attracted to women, to ask women out, to like sex, or to enjoy sex. However this does NOT mean men have the right to have sex with any woman they want. There’s a big difference between wanting and doing.
We’re also NOT misandrists, we don’t hate men at all, and we’re not bitter or hoping to put all PUAs or all men in jail.
We don’t want to “destroy” heterosexual dating and relating – we just want it to be ethical, safe and within legal bounds for both men and women.
This is also NOT about “thought crime”.
“Here’s how it works: The Pick-Up Artist devotee feels worthless. He is informed that self-worth may be secured by having sex with women agreed to be attractive by the Pick-Up Artist community. He is told that in order to have sex with these women, he must not “be himself”—remember, he is worthless. Instead, he must pay exorbitant amounts of money to learn the correct “tactics” not to gain self-worth—but to convince the women that it is they who are truly worthless. Only the Pick-Up Artist “master” wins here—he gets the cash regardless of the outcome of the sexual conquest, while feeling superior to his male devotees (who are, in turn, superior to all women).”
From: WHY PICK-UP GAME HURTS EVERYONE EXCEPT THE GUY SHILLING BOOKS
Here is a description of one man’s experience in the Seduction Community: http://www.xamuel.com/seduction-community/
Don’t forget to take the quiz at the end of this post. For a much less expensive alternative to learning “game”, check this out: http://nvctraining.com/courses/recordings/KB/love-wo-conditions/love-wo-conditions.html
It’s really very simple. The issues are:
1. CONSENT and Sexual Assaut/Rape: There are specific PUA books, e-newsletters, trainings, DVDs, lairs, bootcamps, and other “trainings” given by PUA “schools” that INTENTIONALLY teach men methods such as “ASD” (Anti-Slut Defense) and “LMR” (Last-Minute Resistance) and which also advocate the use of hypnosis and/or NLP (neuro-linquist programming) methods to psychologically and/or physically coerce women into having sex with them.
We see this is as negligent on the part of the PUA “schools” given that they are teaching men methods that could easily result in the sexual assault and rape of women. PUA trainers do not seem to be educating these men that their PUA actions could easily result in sexual assault and/or rape – and they are not even reviewing with these men what the legal defintions of CONSENT, Lack of Consent, Sexual Assault, Date Rape, and Rape are.
If you have sex with a woman too drunk or drugged to be in her right mind to consent to the sex, that is rape. See: http://www.care.cornell.edu/prevention.html
For those of you who don’t recall what we were all taught in 7th grade health class and what has been part of public education campaigns for decades, there are some links below to refresh your memory:
Here is what consent looks like: http://www.uhs.uga.edu/consent/index.html
(This is also excerpted at the end of this post).
PUA, James Sears, (Dmitri the Lover) and Paul Janka have been accused of sexual assualt. Other PUAs have also been charged with sexual assault. Will you be next or will you educate yourself and adhere to the law?
There is also a link to a UK (male) MD who states that “hopefully, using hypnosis as a method of seduction will now be considered as much of a crime as alcohol inhibited behaviour”: http://www.medsci.ox.ac.uk/gazette/previousissues/56vol1/Part8
What Men Need to Remember: NO MEANS NO. If she says no or moves you or your hand(s) away from her, YOU NEED TO STOP. You need to be SURE that a woman consents to sex with you before you proceed.
For all the PUAs and MRAs who claim they have no ethical obligations to anyone while dating and relating, do note that you are exhibiting sociopathic beliefs and behaviors:
Etymology: L, socius, companion; Gk, pathos, disease
a personality disorder characterized by a lack of social responsibility and failure to adapt to ethical and social standards of the community.
Mosby’s Medical Dictionary, 8th edition. © 2009, Elsevier.
2. We’ve also seen a shocking level of ignorance regarding sexually transmitted diseases. Remember:
A. Condoms do not protect against all STDs.
B. Women can become infected with STDs much more easily than men can due to anatomical differences.
C. Unprotected sex (without a condom) increases your and your partner’s risks of becoming infected with STDs.
D. Having multiple sex partners increases your risk and all of your partners’ risks of becoming infected with STDs.
E. Some STDs such as HIV, AIDS, and Hepatitis C can be fatal. People have been convicted of knowingly or recklessly infecting others with HIV and AIDS: http://www.ussc.gov/r_congress/HIV.PDF
F. Some STDs that are not fatal can result in sterilization.
G. If you have multiple sex partners, you have a responsibility to let your other sex partners know this BEFORE they have sex with you so they can understand what they’re consenting to.
H. In my strong opinion, if you have an agreement with a woman to be sexually faithful to her and you cheat on her, YOU MUST TELL HER YOU CHEATED BEFORE YOU HAVE SEX WITH HER again, otherwise she is NOT able to consent to the sex with you under the conditions of your having violated your agreement with her. If you DO have sex with her after cheating sexually and you do NOT tell her this, in my opinion, you have raped her. As far as I’m concerned, this is true whether you’re married to her or not, and yes I would apply all of this to women as equally as to men.
3. The PUA “language” is degrading to women:
This is self-explanatory, but it’s very important to realize that this language comes from a belief system about women that has unfortunately been borrowed from extremist MRA (men’s rights advocates) groups. Many MRA groups use HATE SPEECH and are HATE GROUPS. To learn more about what the FBI has to say about HATE GROUPS, see the FBI paper on this blog under “Just for PUAs” and also on the sitemap. Also, see this link: http://www.fbi.gov/hq/cid/civilrights/hate.htm
“Hypergamy” and the idea that women want to be treated with indifference or badly, negged, ignored, controlled, “led”, or kept on their toes is completely untrue.
Extremist MRA groups, whose blogs openly say FALSE things such as those below, have influenced the PUA industry and belief system. If you want to contribute to a body of evidence that the Y Chromosome is a birth defect, join the ranks of men who believe the following:
A. Women’s suffrage was the worst thing to happen to the US.
B. Hitting women turns them on
C. Women who sleep with you are sluts and whores.
D. Women who don’t sleep with you are bitches.
E. Women’s natural role is to serve men in every way including sexually.
F. All women hate men.
G. Men have the right to rape women.
H. Women have not contributed anything of value to the world; only men have.
I. Women are responsible for ensuring they are not sexually assaulted or raped.
J. Men have raped women since the beginning of time, women should expect that men will try to rape them.
K. Women only want men for their money and to mooch off of them
L. A Woman’s value is only in her beauty, her sexuality, and her ability to bear children and mother them.
M. No Means Yes or No Means Maybe
N. An equal relationship with a woman will result in the woman having more power and control
O. Women are irrational
P. Only men are logical and rational
Q. Men’s and women’s brains are extremely different
R. Evolutionary Psychology explains that women and men have biologically determined roles in relationships and society
S. Feminism will destory western civilization
T. Women need to be put back in their places, on their knees
U. All women want to destroy men and cannot be trusted
V. Marriage is unfair to men, monogamy is unnatural to men, and men have a right to be sexually unfaithful, but women do not.
W. Fathers are unimportant
X. Men have no rights in modern western civilization and it’s all women’s fault
Y. Men who are “alphas” live by this code: “bros before hos unless it’s a close”.
Z. Women cheat on and lie to men much more than men cheat on and lie to women
4. Many aspects of Game are Abusive:
Negging is abusive
Any form of manipulation is abusive
Lying is abusive
Using fake names is deceptive, which is abusive
Creating a false sense of comfort in a woman is abusive
Creating a false sense of attraction is abusive
Using any form of hypnosis or NLP is abusive
The concepts of ASD and LMR are abusive
The ENTIRE concept of “Speed Seduction” is abusive: You MUST respect the time a woman needs in order to naturally and genuinely feel comfortable with who you really are. You must NOT try to speed that process up.
5. Game teaches men that women are not human beings with feelings but, rather are “targets”, “prey”, and “lays” to be conquered, collected, and devalued as people. This is also connected to HATE SPEECH and HATE GROUP definitions. Be aware that many PUA and MRA groups also use methods used by CULTS to lure men in as customers.
They send witty free e-newsletters that seem to understand all of your problems with women. They talk to you like they’re one of your friends. They let you know that you can confide in them about your problems with women. They say they understand.
To see how CULTS operate, visit this blog’s pages on CULTS and JUST FOR PUAs. Don’t drink the Kool-Aid!!!
6. Unfortunately, we’ve heard from alot of PUAs and MRAs who claim that they are not required to behave ethically, to be truthful with women they’re trying to pick up, to use their real names, to be honest about anything, or to abide by laws concerning CONSENT, Sexual Assault, and Rape.
They’ve insisted that women alone are responsible for who they sleep with even if many PUAs are using deception, manipulation, and forms of psychological and physical coercion (i.e. any means necessary) to have sex with as many women as possible. Many of them claim that they have every right to do whatever it takes to get a woman to have sex with them. They’ve insisted that they have no responsibility to be ethical in their dealings with women.
This is a serious problem.
MEN: Are you responsible law-abiding adults or are you irresponsible criminals who will do whatever you can to have sex? Or are you something in between?
Any answer other than being a responsible law-abiding adult is unacceptable, abusive, and could easily land you in jail.
For more information on how to stop rape see: www.JacksonKatz.com or www.todddennymvp.com
If you are a shy man or a man who is awkward around women and you need help with that, do NOT waste your money on Game.
Instead, learn NVC (non-violent communication) – Join a group near where you live and/or do the FREE course at www.nycnvc.com online in the privacy of your home. Also, further develop your Emotional Intelligence (EI):
Please click on “Nonviolent Communication” (below) to learn more about how NVC can help us all:
NVC Feelings List: www.cnvc.org/en/learn-online/feelings-list/feelings-inventory
NVC Needs List: www.cnvc.org/en/learn-online/needs-list/needs-inventory
To Learn More about Emotional Intelligence and How it Can Help Men and Women:
Also, read the following books:
She Comes First by Ian Kerner
The Guide to Getting It On
Getting Love Right by Terence Gorski
Boundaries and Relationships by Charles Whitfield
Anything by John Gottman
Coach Yourself to Success by Talane Meidaner
Anything by Stephen Carter
When Love Goes Wrong by Ann Jones and Susan Schechter
Unexpected Allies: Men Who Stop Rape by Todd Denny
The Macho Paradox by Jackson Katz
Also, join a good Men’s group such as NOMAS or another similar group.
Also, consider that if you are trying to date and relate to women who have no interest in you that you may be looking for love in all the wrong places. Instead of only caring about having sex with women or dating women who are not attracted to you, consider dating other women who are more attainable, who share interests with you, and who you do not need to game.
And, for all you MRAs out there, YES, I believe that women and men should be held to the very same behavioral standards, yes men can be raped by women, yes men should have equal protection under all laws as women do, and yes I believe in egalitarian relationships and an egalitarian society and culture.
Remember: “Only Men Can Prevent Rape — By Not Raping Women
A lot has been said about how to prevent rape. Women should learn self-defense. Women should lock themselves in their houses after dark. Women shouldn’t have long hair and women shouldn’t wear short skirts. Women shouldn’t leave drinks unattended. Hell, women shouldn’t dare to get drunk at all. Instead of that bullshit, how about:
If a woman is drunk, don’t rape her.
If a woman is walking alone at night, don’t rape her.
If a woman is drugged and unconscious, don’t rape her.
If a woman is wearing a short skirt, don’t rape her.
If a woman is jogging in a park at 5 am, don’t rape her.
If a woman looks like your ex-girlfriend you’re still hung up on, don’t rape her.
If a woman is asleep in her bed, don’t rape her.
If a woman is asleep in your bed, don’t rape her.
If a woman is doing her laundry, don’t rape her.
If a woman is in a coma, don’t rape her.
If a woman changes her mind in the middle of or about a particular activity, don’t rape her.
If a woman has repeatedly refused a certain activity, don’t rape her.
If a woman is not yet a woman, but a child, don’t rape her.
If your girlfriend or wife is not in the mood, don’t rape her.
If your step-daughter is watching TV, don’t rape her.
If you break into a house and find a woman there, don’t rape her.
If your friend thinks it’s okay to rape someone, tell him it’s not, and that he’s not your friend.
If your “friend” tells you he raped someone, report him to the police.
If your frat-brother or another guy at the party tells you there’s an unconscious woman upstairs and it’s your turn, don’t rape her, call the police and tell the guy he’s a rapist.
Tell your sons, god-sons, nephews, grandsons, sons of friends it’s not okay to rape someone.
Don’t tell your women friends how to be safe and avoid rape.
Don’t imply that she could have avoided it if she’d only done/not done x.
Don’t imply that it’s in any way her fault.
Don’t let silence imply agreement when someone tells you he “got some” with the drunk girl.
Don’t perpetuate a culture that tells you that you have no control over or responsibility for your actions. You can, too, help yourself.”
If you’re a GOOD MAN out there who is a PUA or an MRA, we would LOVE to hear from you. We WANT to believe good PUAs and MRAs are out there.
Unfortunately, we’ve only seen evidence of very few good PUAs and MRAs and overwhelmingly disturbing evidence of many PUAs and MRAs who view women as non-humans who exist solely for their sexual pleasure to be discarded and collected as conquests and objects.
Men and Women who take these issues seriously will be doing the following:
1. Write to or email your State legislators and ask them to add “GENDER” to Hate Crime Statutes.
2. Write to or email your local police department’s Sexual Assault Units and show them this post about Game so they can be educated about new methods being used by sexual predators to rape women. Print out the links explaining the use of hypnosis. Ask the Police to conduct educational prevention seminars at middle schools, high schools and colleges as well as among police officers themselves.
3. Do the same with your local Rape Crisis organization and ask them to do educational prevention seminars at schools, colleges, and in workplaces.
4. Contact any military bases near you and show them this post and ask them to conduct educational prevention seminars for US troops.
5. Contact your local religious organization and ask the to conduct educational prevention seminars for men and women, including adolescents.
6. Contact VH-1 and send them a copy of this post along with a letter of protest regarding the television show, The Pick-Up Artist.
7. Talk to your friends and teenage children about how abusive Game is.
8. Contact nearby colleges and universities and ask them to conduct educational prevention seminars about Game.
9. Contact your legislators at every level and ask them to fully enforce all sexual assault laws around consent, deception, manipulation, and psychological coercion. Print out the links in this post for them.
10. Write to Evolutionary Psychologists and let them know how their scientific theories are being grossly distorted and used in attempts to justify unethical, assaultive, and criminal behavior among many (NOT ALL) men.
11. If you’re a PUA or an MRA, bring this to your group and discuss it with other men.
12. If you’re a man on a sports team, in a religious group, in a club, or in any other group of people, regardless of gender, discuss these issues with those in your group. Let them know to discuss these issues with their adolescent or college-aged children.
Women and Men have much more common ground than we do differences. There is NO reason for men to need GAME to date and relate to women. Women and men have much more in common than the extremist MRAs want us to think. Men and Women should be working together to ensure that all laws are fairly enforced for both women and men and that all women and men have equal rights in relationships, families, workplaces, and in all aspects of our cultures. See all Human Rights for Men and Women in Intimate Relationships on this blog.
If you have any questions, please feel free to comment here or email me at Denise@LoveAndWorkCoach.com
For more info on the law from the US DOJ, read below. There are a shocking number of men who actually believe that sex with a drunk or drugged woman is not rape. The blogger Robert Lindsay is an example of such a cretin.
Definition of Rape
1. Assault – The use of unlawful force or violence either as an overt act with the intent of inflicting bodily harm; or as an unlawful demonstration of violence, either by an intentional or by a culpably negligent act or omission, which creates in the mind of another a reasonable apprehension of receiving immediate bodily harm.
a. Sexual Assault – See “Indecent Assault.” For the purposes of this instruction, the term sexual assault will be used generically to include all of the terms listed in  through  below and applies to adult victims and perpetrators.
 Assault with Intent to Commit Rape – In assault with intent to commit rape, the accused must have intended to complete the offense of rape and to overcome any resistance by force.
 Assault with Intent to Commit Sodomy – An assault against a human being committed with the specific intent of completing the offense of sodomy.
 Indecent Assault – An assault with the intent to gratify the lust or sexual desires of the accused.
 Rape - An act of penile-vaginal intercourse by force and without consent. Penetration, however slight, is sufficient to complete the offense.
2. Intercourse – Physical sexual contact between individuals that involves the genitalia of at least one person.
3. Sodomy – An act whereby one person takes into his/her mouth or anus the sexual organ of another person (of the same or opposite sex) or of an animal; places his/her sexual organ in the mouth or anus of another person or of an animal; places his/her sexual organ in any opening of the body other than the sexual parts of another person; or has penile-vaginal intercourse with an animal. Penetration, however slight, is sufficient to complete the offense. From OPNAVINST 1752.1A, UCMJ Definition
Clinically, rape is regarded as an act which involves sexual activity in that genital contact is involved. However, rape is much more than just the sex act because it is also committed in order to fulfill nonsexual needs related to power, anger, and aggression. Rape involves hostility (anger) and control (power) more than passion. (3) Anger and a desire to dominate and control the victim are the primary motivations of the rapist. These factors are consistent with the victim’s experience of sexual violence. The victim feels violated. (4)
Concerning Rape (5)
Rape is one of the most frequently committed violent crimes and its incidence is steadily increasing. Hand-in-hand with the rising incidence of sexual assault is the rising fear among women of such victimization. A study of perceptions of violent crime among residents of Seattle, Washington, reported that all women fear rape, especially those under 35. They report that rape is a more terrifying possibility to them than any other crime including murder, assault, and robbery.
Such fear is not necessarily misplaced. It is believed that perhaps twice as many criminal sexual assaults occur as are officially reported. Also official tallies do not reflect the number of deaths as a result of rape; these deaths are reported as murders. Every single minute in America, there are 1.3 forcible rapes of adult women; 78 women are forcibly raped each hour. Every day in America, 1,871 women are forcibly raped, equating to 56,916 forcible rapes every month. Every year in our country, 683,000 American women are forcibly raped. (See statistical page no. 16)
(1) Some specialists prefer the exclusively use of the term “sexual assault.” However, most victim advocates prefer stronger terms (e.g. “rape” for sexual assault and “murder” for homicide to tell it like it is).
(2) A member of The Chaplain’s Advisory Committee has advised that the Navy Sexual Assault Victim Intervention (SAVI) program manual could be very helpful in providing military specific information on this subject.
(3) Groth, Nicholas, and Birnbaum, Jean, Men Who Rape, New York: Plenam Press, 1979: 2.
(4) Fortune, Marie, Sexual Violence: The Unmentionable Sin, New York: Pilgrim Press, 1983: 7-8.
(5) National Victim Resource Center, Sexual Assault: An Overview, Rockville, Maryland: U.S. Department of Justice, 1987.
Despite the prevalence of sexual assault in the United States, a number of misconceptions surround this crime and its victims. Some of the most common myths include:
1. Rape is a crime of passion.
The notion that the rapist is controlled by overwhelming lust is far removed from the reality. Psychologists have found that the motivation behind sexual assault is most often the need to dominate and control, rather than the inability to control sexual urges. Rape is primarily an act of power and aggression, with the sexual aspects taking secondary role.
2. Women who are careful don’t get raped.
Rapes occur in a variety of places and situations during any hour of the day or night. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 35 percent of all rapes occur in or near a victim’s home, and there are incidences of rape in offices, schools, and other work locations. While there are certain preventative measures women can take, even the most cautious women are not perfectly safe.
3. Rape is impossible if the woman really resists.
Most victims resist sexual assault in some way, but the rapist usually has the advantage of surprise and strength. Physical force is used in 85 percent of all reported rapes, and 25 percent of victims are threatened or attacked with a dangerous weapon.
In addition to the sexual attack, more than half who are physically assaulted, receive some injury. Such injury was more likely if the victim resisted.
4. Women secretly want to be raped.
There is a difference between romantic fantasy and brutal, violent reality. There also is a difference between the fundamental right of choice in one’s fantasy and the loss of control as a victim of sexual assault.
5. The rapist is usually a stranger.
Expert opinions vary. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), a woman is twice as likely to be attacked by a stranger than by someone she knows. However, sexual assault by an acquaintance “date rape” is a serious and largely unreported occurrence. In a survey sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), 6,159 college students at 32 schools nationwide were interviewed and reported that 84 percent of the victims of completed rapes knew the offender, most often (66 percent) as a date. Of these victims, 95 percent did not report the crime to the police. Similarly, the incidence of marital rape, as a form of domestic violence, goes largely unreported.
6. Women invite rape by dressing or acting seductively.
There is little correlation between physical attractiveness and the likelihood of becoming a victim. To believe that a woman “deserves” to be raped is to say that a wealthy-looking man “deserves” to be robbed.
7. If rape is imminent, the woman should relax and enjoy it.
This may be a fatal belief, according to interviews with murderers who sexually molested their victims. These offenders report that the victim’s compliance or non-forceful resistance were not deterrents to the murder, with survivors being those who forcefully resisted. Even in sexual assaults without homicidal intent, it is unreasonable to expect a woman to enjoy involuntary participation in a violent, terrifying crime.
8. Women “cry rape.”
The reality is that sexual assault is perhaps one of the most under reported crimes in relation to its actual incidence. BJS found that only about half of the victims of rape or attempted rape surveyed between 1973 and 1982 reported the crime to the police. Various other surveys also found that a vast number of sexual assaults go unreported, with even higher percentages of victims not reporting. In general, victims of “classic” rape, i.e., violent attack by a stranger, are more likely to report the crime than women raped by men they know, at home or in social settings. Thus, the notion that “a woman scorned” will hurl false rape accusations, considering the tendency of victims not to report out of shame or despair, is unlikely to be true.
Impact of Rape
The consequences of sexual assault for victims and their families and friends are profound. While any form of victimization is stressful, rape takes a particularly devastating toll on the self image, sense of independence, and overall emotional well-being of its victims long after any physical injuries have healed.
The Rape Trauma Syndrome describes the emotional, psychological, and social impact of sexual assault:
In the period immediately following a sexual assault, victims may respond by expressing fear, anger, and outrage or by adopting a controlled style of response, exhibiting little visible reaction. Despite outward appearances, this latter coping style does not reflect the victim’s inner turmoil in the wake of the assault.
During the first few days and weeks after a sexual assault, the victim may also experience acute physical symptoms. These include soreness, especially in the stomach, throat, arms and legs. Muscle tension often results in disturbances in sleep patterns, including problems getting to sleep, crying out at night, and mumbling during sleep. Generally victims feel distressed, irritable and jumpy. Loss of appetite is also common.
Initially, victims experience a sense of disorganization in which their lifestyles are disrupted by the rape crisis. Emotionally, fear dominates, but shame, humiliation, degradation, guilt, anger, self-blame and revenge are common. Given the intensity of these feelings, victims may be susceptible to mood swings.
Long-term emotional symptoms, ranging from mild to severe and beginning anywhere from a few days to a few weeks after the rape, involve reorganization of the life shattered by the assault. One of the primary characteristics of this stage is difficulty in returning to daily schedule of activities. Victims often express and may act upon a strong desire to change jobs/schools.
General sleeplessness may continue, marked by dreams and nightmares. Fears and phobias may develop. Sexual concerns are widespread; it may be some time before victims resume their normal sexual patterns.
Those close to the victim have been found to experience similar reactions. In the immediate aftermath of a rape, the woman’s parents/spouse may exhibit physical and emotional symptoms just as she does. Crying, headaches, loss of sleep, and fear of violence are common, as are feelings of revenge and guilt. In the long term, the victim’s personal relationships are altered and may be shattered, as her significant others cope with their feelings toward the crime and the victim. Her family and friends may become over-protective or patronizing; other changes in usual inter-actions may occur. Personal or intimate relationships existing before the assault may be destroyed if partners fail to recognize the victim’s emotional and psychological needs. Thus, the woman may not be the only victim of a sexual assault; this crime may deeply affect those around her.
Stages of Adjustment
Each person going through a crisis of any kind progresses through stages of emotional adjustment. A victim may spend a great deal of time in one stage and only touch lightly on another, or may pass through a number of the stages over and over again, each time experiencing them with a different intensity. Furthermore, anyone close to the victim may experience these stages as well.
SHOCK “I’m numb.”
Offering information to the victim during this stage is not helpful, as she will most likely remember very little, if anything, about what occurs during this time.
DENIAL “This can’t have happened.”
Not yet able to face the severity of the crisis, the victim spends time during this stage gathering strength. The period of denial serves as a cushion for the more difficult stages of adjustment which follow.
ANGER “What did I do? Why me?”
Much of the anger may be a result of the victim’s feeling of loss of strength and loss of control over her own life. The anger may be directed toward the rapist, a doctor, the police, or anyone else, including herself.
BARGAINING “Let’s go on as if it didn’t happen.”
The victim sets up a bargain: She will not talk about the rape in exchange for not having to continue to experience the pain. In so doing, she continues to deny the emotional impact the rape has had upon her life.
DEPRESSION “I feel so dirty — so worthless.”
If the victim is warned of this stage ahead of time, she may not be so thrown by it. She may experience drastic changes in sleeping or eating habits, the indulging in compulsive rituals, or generalizing fears completely taking over her life. Professional counseling may be advisable. Though a painful time for her, this stage shows she has begun to face the reality of the rape. As she allows the negative emotions to surface, she should be reminded that these feelings are normal and will not last forever.
ACCEPTANCE “Life can go on.”
When enough of the anger and depression is released, the victim enters the stage of acceptance. She may still spend time thinking and talking about the rape, but she under-stands and is in control of her own emotions and can now accept what has happened to her.
ASSIMILATION “It’s part of my life.”
By the time the victim reaches this stage, she has realized her own self-worth and strength. She no longer needs to spend time dealing with the rape, as the total rape experience now meshes with other experiences in her life. (1)
(1) Roberts, Deborah, Adapted from Raped, Zondervan Publishing House, 1981: 157-159.
While there are no guaranteed steps that women can take to prevent rape, there are several things they can do to possibly avoid an assault.
Good Prevention Counsel
Remember that the perpetrator needs the opportunity.
Normal crime prevention safety tips — locking doors and windows, checking the back of your car before entering — should be habits, no matter how ‘safe’ the area or circumstance.
Follow your instincts.
Take immediate action if a stranger is acting suspiciously or if a dating situation is getting out of control. Don’t let concerns about being thought foolish prevent you from asking for help — security/personnel and police would rather answer a “false alarm” or escort you to your car than see you as a rape or murder victim.
Avoid dangerous situations.
The stranger outside your door with a compelling story can wait there while you make that “urgent” phone call for him. If circumstances require that you be out alone, especially at night, avoid dark or secluded areas and let others know where you are.
Don’t appear vulnerable.
Walk assertively and purposefully, staying in well-lit areas when out alone at night. Restrictive clothing and high-heeled shoes may be fashionable, but are useless if the need to run or fight arises.
Know your abilities.
Some women in our society have been raised to be passive and submissive (Note 1: Clergy whose theological position, rightly or wrongly, places emphasis here, should be advised). Learned helplessness can facilitate sexual assault. General fitness and self-defense courses are useful for developing personal strengths and decreasing the likelihood of becoming a victim. (Note 2: Self-defense training may be difficult for some clergy to recommend, in view of their emphasis upon faith in God. This is a practical theological issue that each must resolve.)
Keep control of the situation.
Try to distract the attacker while planning an escape. Don’t rely on talk alone; most rapists are not going to pay attention to their victims’ pleas.
Screaming, knocking over trash cans, sounding your car horn or making any other noise may bring help.
Remember that only the rapist, and not you, is responsible for the attack.
Even in a social situation, your personal integrity is more important than a date’s “ego.”
Communities can also take rape prevention measures. Many communities and college campuses have organized against rape. Public awareness and education programs, “escort” services to accompany women out alone at night, self-defense classes, and a heightened awareness of the problem all contribute to prevention sexual assault.
Sexual Assault and the Law
Rape prosecutions are generally made under State law, except for the comparatively fewer instances of sexual assault occurring in areas under Federal control, such as military installations and some Indian reservations. There have been major changes in the law regarding sexual assault in the past two decades, owing to an increased awareness of the problem and to increased consciousness that the law has not always served the victim. Between 1975 and 1980 almost every state in the United States
enacted some form of rape reform legislation, and changes continue to be made. Rape reform legislation generally seeks to facilitate prosecution and assure justice for the victim. Such reforms include:
Rape shield laws.
These laws restrict admission into evidence information concerning the victim’s past sexual relations. Most states require a hearing and judicial determination of relevance before evidence of the victim’s past sexual conduct can be heard by a jury.
Prior to reform, many states had borrowed the British common law definition of rape as the ‘carnal knowledge of a female, not his wife, forcibly and against her will.” Under this definition, prosecutions hinged on questions of consent and resistance that made convictions difficult and trials an ordeal for the victim. Reform removed the resistance requirement, deleting legal provisions that forced victims to prove they resisted sexual attacks to the utmost of their ability. The consent standard was also changed and rape was equated to other crimes in this regard.
Redefinition of rape.
Gender-neutral terms in new definitions redefined rape to enable prosecutions against both men and women for a wide range of behavior, including sexual assault with an object and homosexual assault. These changes created new crimes, termed “sexual assault,” “criminal sexual conduct,” or “sexual battery,” permitting prosecution of any sexual assault, not only those involving forced heterosexual intercourse.
Changes in penalty structure.
Reform introduced stair casing, or the gradation of sex offenses to prevent defendants from pleading guilty to reduced charges such as assault and battery, which give no clue to the crime’s sexual nature. Rather than one charge of rape, legislatures have developed a variety of degrees for sex offenses, depending upon the circumstances of the crime and the defendant’s culpability. These reforms also include sentencing laws, with some mandatory sentences or changes in modality such as sentences to treatment.
Not all reforms listed above have been adopted in every state. The statutes also vary in wording and operation. However, in assessing the impact of these reforms, one attorney noted that the number of reported rapes has approximately doubled since 1970 and tripled since 1960.
Factors Having a Negative Impact on Rape Victims
When Preparing for Court
What is presented below is in part a summary of parts of Chapter 5, “Getting the Case to Trial,” from The Victim of Rape: Institutional Reactions, by Holstrom and Burgess. It is based on a study of rape victims’ interactions with medical, law enforcement, and criminal justice system personnel and procedures. The book would be invaluable to anyone within one of those institutional settings who works with rape victims.
The rape victim who presses her case in court often has a difficult and discouraging job to do. There is attrition at each stage. Only a small percentage of cases ever gets scheduled in court. It is the unusual victim who remains enthusiastic to press charges through this whole time. The process of getting a rape case to trial acts as a way of “cooling out” the victim, that is, it dilutes her will for justice by making its pursuit more stressful than she can endure. This is changing, but in many places is still a major problem.
I. Cross Pressures on the Victim:
A. Pressure to Drop Charges
From assailant, his friends, defense counsel, or her own support network
“Mysterious happenings,” such as unexplained or obscene telephone calls
Threats, sympathy appeals, and even bribes may be used by the assailant or his friends
B. Pressure to Go Through with Court
From police or prosecutor
May contain threats (“If you don’t come to court, I may have to arrest you”) which may be stated “humorously”
Appeals to victim’s sympathies (“You can’t back out on me now”)
Appeals to victim’s sense of civic duty (“You need to help us get this guy off the streets so he won’t rape someone else”)
A. Psychic Energy Consumed
Wearing Victim Down. Rape victims find the long court process, and especially the many delays, wearisome and discouraging. They get emotionally prepared for court — “psyched up” — and then experience a letdown if the case is continued. The court process seems to last forever. Victims may feel worn down to the point where they no longer care what happens.
B. Monetary and Time Costs to Family and Friends
Court delays increase the financial and time losses for relatives and friends who accompany the victim to court. Each delay means more lost work or school time, lost pay, interrupted day, or expenses (baby-sitter, lunch, transportation).
C. Monetary and Time Costs to Victim
The cost of missing work or school is compounded by some victims’ desire to keep other people from knowing what has happened. Thus they are faced with the additional problem of getting time off without revealing the reason for the absence.
The degradational costs of delay are not mentioned so explicitly by victims. Nevertheless, a sense of loss to the self does come through when one reads between the lines. It seems to come through most in comments having to do with the conditions of waiting. Victims may talk about sitting unnoticed (“We went to court and waited ’till 2 p.m. No one said anything to us.”) They may talk about waiting in the courthouse corridor (“It was just awful standing out in the hall that day.”), or about a wait that occurs during the appointment with the D.A., who may interrupt the interview for other business that takes priority.
A. Questions and Style — The manner and style adopted when interviewing a rape victim has a strong impact on how helpful her answers are and how she is affected emotionally by the experience. Questions asked in a supportive way without implying judgements about her actions or behavior are most effective. An effort should be made to put the victim at ease. Abruptness should be avoided.
B. Advice and Explanations – Rape victims by and large are unfamiliar with workings of the court. Most have not been to court before, and they do not know what to expect or what is expected of them. Adequate time (as determined by the victim) spent on advice and explanations will make the victim feel less threatened and vulnerable and enable her to be a more effective witness.
C. Pressure on the Victim and Victim Requests — Prosecutors occasionally put victims under considerable pressure, either to strengthen their story or to reduce the charges to a lesser offense. Such pressure may lead the victim to believe that her personal tragedy is being manipulated by the system and the true reality of what happened to her is not being taken seriously. A more effective way for the prosecutor (or support person) to deal with these or other problematic situations is to inform the victim fully and in a supportive manner of what the problems and options are and empower/encourage the victim to make the decision. Many rape victims experience a loss of control in their legal case as an extension of the rape itself, in which loss of control over their lives is a paramount issue. Providing victims full participation in the preparation of their cases is not only good therapy for them, but encourages the kind of cooperation needed for thorough planning and strong presentation. Empowerment is key.
D. The D.A.’s Role – from Interrogator to Counsel * — The data in this study suggest that there is a psychological payoff to victims when D.A.’s conceive of their role as legal counselors rather than as moral arbiters or interrogators. Five issues which victims say are of concern to them are: (1) indications of suspicion about their truthfulness, (2) judgmental commands, (3) explanations and advice, (4) privacy, and (5) general “style.” Sensitivity to these issues by the D.A. is likely to encourage the rape victim to be more willing to go through the court process.
* This advice is given to District Attorneys. Clergy will profit from it, however, as they serve in support roles.
Why Nice Men Force Sex on Their Friends (1)
The typical image of a rapist is a crazed maniac who jumps out of the bushes, brandishes a knife or gun and forces a woman to have sex with him. Images like this are strong and lasting but they mask the essential fact that most rapes are committed by acquaintances and lovers. The false image lives on because few rapes by acquaintances are reported: in fact those involved often do not recognize that a rape has occurred.
The legal definition of rape is a victim having sexual intercourse against her will and without her consent. (2) Sexual assault is defined as a sexual encounter other than intercourse (such as oral and anal sex) against the victim’s will and without his or her consent. In many states only a woman can be legally raped by a man, but the FBI estimates that 10 percent of all sexual assault victims are men. The victim does not have to be threatened with a dangerous weapon or be injured for an incident to be considered rape. Coercion or threat of force of violence are sufficient. (3)
How can “nice” men with “good intentions” coerce someone to have sex? It is because men and women in the process of becoming social beings learn communication patterns that make acquaintance rape likely.
In our culture, men are taught to view women as either virtuous or sexually loose, which contributes to uncertainty about female desires. Men are taught to not take women seriously, that women do not really mean what they say. Young women are taught that males know more about sex than females, so the female should comply with the male’s demand. Both males and females feel certain behavior allows a man to force sex, such as the woman “leading the man on.”
These uncertainties are often based on the reluctance of women and men to express their feelings. Many times in verbal communication if something is clearly wrong with a woman (she is crying or slamming doors) and she is asked what is wrong, she may say “nothing” rather than express her true feelings. Men display this same type of behavior, expressing anger or frustration by punching walls or speaking through clenched teeth, but still saying nothing is wrong. The message is that in a situation where verbal and nonverbal messages are inconsistent, the verbal message is not accurate.
In sexual situations the verbal and nonverbal messages are frequently inconsistent. This inconsistency was often established when a boy was told by his mother, his teacher (usually female) or another woman in a position of authority to do something. If he didn’t the consequences would be severe. If the deadline was then extended or the consequence was not severe, he learned that those women did not mean what they said.
Some men do not believe a woman’s verbal messages in sexual encounters either. In fact, a man may actually feel he is doing a woman a favor by pushing her sexually: if she says no to a sexual overture, she may really want to say yes but is afraid she will be viewed as loose. He thinks she says no because she is worried about her reputation, not because she really does not want to have sex with him. So if he pushes her even if she is saying no, they will both ultimately get what they want: she will get sex without tarnishing her reputation, and he will be satisfied. In this type of interaction the male feels that he is acting as he should and would probably be surprised to find that some women really mean it when they say no.
Women and men also believe that men should know more about sex. If he tells her that “everyone else is having sex”, and that “something is wrong with people who don’t” she may be willing to have sex with him even though it is not what she wants to do.
There is also tremendous peer pressure for the male to have sex on a date. Even if he does not want to initiate sex, a man may feel he has to or his date will think he is gay. He is encouraged by other young men to “score” sexually to be considered manly. The woman, even if she does not want sex, may think that the man finds her unattractive if he does not initiate sex. These pressures are responsible for people having sex when neither want it.
It is difficult to reject group standards if one believes that the only way to be a valuable person is to be associated with others who are valuable. A young woman who has low self-esteem may date the captain of the football team in order to raise her value. If the male in this situation uses coercion by telling her he will not continue going out with her unless she has sex with him, she may comply to maintain her status as his girlfriend. “br1″>
When forced sex becomes “acceptable”
Some men feel that a particular female behavior permits a man to force a woman to have sex. Charlene L. Mulenhard of Texas A&M University and Richard McFall of Indiana University reported the results of a study in which 106 college students were asked to respond anonymously about acceptable behavior in dating situations.
The subjects were given descriptions of three types of dates that varied in respect to who initiated the date, where the couple went, and who paid. They were then asked if there were any circumstances in which forced sex was justified. Men rated intercourse against the woman’s wishes as significantly more justifiable when the woman initiated the date, when the man paid and when the couple went to the man’s apartment. (4)
UCLA researchers posed similar questions to teens. A high percentage of the male teens felt that forced sex was acceptable if the woman said yes and then changed her mind (54%), if he spent a lot of money on her (39%), if she “led him on” (54%), and if he is so turned on that he thinks he can’t stop (36%). (5)
Patterns in acquaintance rape
Groth and Birnbaum reported a three-stage pattern in rapists’ behavior concerning acquaintance rapes. First a rapist will invade a woman’s personal space (for instance, by putting his hand on a woman’s knee in a public place). This is common in fraternity parties and in bars when the music is so loud the couple must be close to hear each other. (6)
If the woman does not object, the rapist proceeds to the second stage in which he will desensitize her to the intrusion by escalating the behavior (moving his hands to her buttocks, for example). It is unlikely that she will tell him that she is uncomfortable with his “roaming hands” but she may feel uneasy as a result of this behavior and suggest going someplace less crowded. She does not want her friends to see how forward he is being, and she does not want to stay close to him. He may misinterpret her suggestion as her way to be alone with him. The third stage is when they are in an isolated place and the rapist attacks.
This is a general pattern in acquaintance rape, and though all victims and rapists are different, alcohol and drugs are often involved in incidents of acquaintance rape. In a study or rape in Canada, alcohol was used by half of all offenders and by one third of the victims (British Columbia Rape Prevention Project 1980). This is important for young adults since peer group expectations usually include consumption of alcohol at social events. (7)
Solution to the problem
There are many things men can do to view forced sex for what it is and to begin to try to stop it on a personal or societal level. First they must understand that forced or coercive sex is rape even if the partner is a friend or lover. It is never acceptable to force yourself on a woman even if you think she’s been teasing and leading you on or you have heard that women say no but mean yes. It is not “manly” to use force to get your way.
Women should be aware that their assertive actions may be interpreted by men as justification for rape. This does not mean that women should avoid using assertive behavior with men, but that they be aware of how assertiveness may be interpreted by men.
Since socialization is responsible for many sex attitudes, both men and women must be willing to explore importance of traditional socialization on their behavior. College men, for example, are exerting peer pressure to condemn, rather than condone the notion of women as conquest. Adult females who influence male children must be clear about messages, truthful about feelings and consistent in disciplining. Failure to do so may lead to young men not taking women’s verbal messages seriously.
Once these men become adults themselves they have the potential to influence the socialization of children. They can teach children about the importance of communicating their feelings clearly and consistently.
(1) Parrot, Andrea, “Human Ecology Forum,” College of Human Ecology.
(2) Burkhard, B. “Acquaintance Rape Statistics and Prevention,” A paper presented at the Acquaintance Rape and Rape Prevention on Campus Conference in Louisville, Kentucky.
(3) FBI. Uniform Crime Reports, Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office: 1982.
(4) Mulenhard, C.L. and R.M. McFall. “Dating Initiation From a Woman’s Per-spective,” Behavior Therapy: 1981: 12.
(5) Giarrusso, R., Johnson, P., Goodchilds, J., and Zellman, G. “Adolescent Cues and Signals: Sex and Sexual Assault,” a paper presented to a symposium of the Western Psychological Association Meeting. San Diego, CA: 1979.
(6) Groth, A.N. Men Who Rape: The Psychology of the Offender. New York: 1979.
(7) British Columbia Rape Prevention Project “Rape Prevention Resource Manual,” based on a study of rape in Canada and Vancouver, MTI Teleprograms: 1980.
Marital Rape: The Misunderstood Crime
This form of rape that is still not receiving sufficient attention of professionals (clergy included), law enforcement, the courts or, often, even the victim herself. In a May, 1984, address, David Finkelhor, Ph.D., Associate Director of Family Violence Research Program, University of New Hampshire, and one of the nation’s leading authorities on sexual abuse, made the following statements.
“The depth of popular ignorance about the problem of marital rape runs deep… People are apt to think of marital rape, if they think of anything at all, as a bedroom squabble over whether to have sex tonight… But marital rape does have brutality and terror and violence and humiliation to rival the most graphic stranger rape.”
It is vitally important that clergy, who are often involved in marriage counseling, be aware of this damaging form of sexual assault. All the dynamics of rape outlined in this section also apply to marital rape, which is forced, non-mutual sex having the elements of power, anger, and aggression outlined on p.150. A text on this subject, Rape in Marriage, by Diana E. Russell, is listed in the bibliography at the end of this section. I Corinthians 7:4&5, which emphasizes mutuality in the sexual activity of married couples, can be helpful to Christian clergy in dealing with this subject scripturally.
Positive Clergy and Congregational Responseto Rape
Clergy and religious counselors can readily see, from the information in this section, how important it is understand the trauma of the victim of rape. Probably the most damaging pastoral response to a victim of rape is that of judgmentalism or of questioning as to what she did to invite the act. A sexual component, or whether or not the violation occurs within a relationship (casual or long term) does not minimize the act. It is assaultive and criminal. The victim of rape desperately needs compassionate, non-judgmental understanding and assistance.
Since the common misperception continues to exist, it is well to repeat that rape is not primarily a sexual crime. It is violent assault with a sexual weapon. The primary issues are power and anger, not sex. The resource section of the manual lists many good publications explaining this.
However, since rape involves a sexual act, and sexual conduct is a moral issue for the church, there can be a tendency on the part of clergy and congregations to see rape only in sexual terms. Nothing can be more damaging to the victim of rape.
Historically, the religious community has dealt with sexual morality around such issues as seductiveness, provocativeness, promiscuity, and even proper dress to avoid such conduct. Consequently, if rape is seen to be primarily sexual, there is a strong temptation to put some blame on the victim for inciting the perpetrator.
In the crime of rape, the victim rather than the violent assaultive perpetrator, is more likely to be given a share of blame than in any other crime. Clergy and congregations should definitely reject such a response.
First, it is important for the victim to receive law enforcement, medical and legal assistance. When possible refer to a rape crisis center. They will have specially trained counselors. Many rape victims are reluctant to report the crime or encourage prosecution because of that edge of blame, spoken or unspoken, that seems to be always present; as well as because of the humiliation of such an intimate personal violation. Clergy should remember that the successful prosecuting of a rape case could protect other innocent women. It may be very difficult for a rape victim to deal with the criminal justice process. The victim should receive strong support through the court hearings.
Exhibiting non-judgmental compassion and understanding, clergy and congregations can stand by the victim at every step from the medical examination through the prosecution. The violation of the person who has been raped results in some of the most acute trauma experienced from any violent crime. Because this crime violates the body, not only externally, but internally in the most intimate manner, triggering acute emotions, the victim of rape may often be out of control. To understand, and be quietly present, giving reassurance that the crime was not her fault is very helpful.
The victim’s family will also need a great deal of emotional support during the aftermath of the crime. Since the victim may now present a totally different personality, and shy away from even her husband’s most gentle and loving approaches, a good deal of counseling and understanding during this time is necessary. Clergy should be aware that there are therapists who specialize in rape issues, and that rape crisis centers are an invaluable aid. Congregational support groups can also be very helpful.
Since the business of faith communities is to deal with right and wrong, the strong temptation to judge is always present. But the business of the people of God is also to love, care for, support and comfort those who have been hurt. In the case of rape to indulge in the former is to preclude the latter.
Note: Adults who were molested as children are in need of specialized care. Self-help groups under the direction of knowledgeable therapists are particularly helpful. A good resource, in addition to those on the following pages, is Parents United, International, P.O. Box 952, San Jose, California 95108-0952, (408) 280-5505.
WHERE TO TURN
National Center on Women and Family Law
799 Broadway, Room 402
New York, New York 10003 (212) 674-8200
National Coalition Against Sexual Assault
912 N. Second Street
Harrisburg, PA 17102-8119 (717) 232-7460
Center for the Prevention of Sexual and
936 N. 34th Street, Suite 200
Seattle, Washington 98103 (206) 634-1903
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
P.O. Box 18749
Denver, Colorado 80218-0749 (303) 839-1852
National Organization for Victim Assistance
1757 Park Road N.W.
Washington, DC 20010 (202) 232-6682
National Victim Center (703) 276-2880
2111 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 300 1(800) FYI-CALL
Arlington, Virginia 22201 Fax (703) 276-2889
National Victims Resource Center
P.O. Box 6000
Rockville, Maryland 20850 1(800) 627-6872
Office for Victims of Crime
U.S. Department of Justice
633 Indiana Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20531 (202) 307-5983
The Spiritual Dimension in Victim Services
P.O. Box 6736 (303) 333-8810
Denver, Colorado 80206-0736 Fax (303) 333-8805
FOR LOCAL RESOURCES clergy may contact the above mentioned organizations, the rape crisis and assistance centers, the sexual assault treatment programs of their community, or the victim and witness assistance coordinator of their district or state’s attorney’s office.
Rape/Sexual Assault Publications
NOTE 1: This list contains only a very few of the vast number of publications on the subject of rape. The inclusion of these publications in this manual does not imply endorsement by The Spiritual Dimension in Victim Services or the U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime. They have, however, been read and recommended by qualified professionals in the field.
NOTE 2: The bibliography in this manual under “Family Violence/Children” contains publications dealing with child sexual assault. The following deal primarily, though not entirely, with rape of adult women.
Brownmiller, Susan, Against Our Will, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1975.
McEvoy, Alan and Jeff Brookings, If She Is Raped: A Book for Husbands, Fathers and Male Friends, Holmes Beach, Florida: Learning Publications, 1984.
McEvoy, Alan and Jeff Brookings, If You Are Raped: What Every Woman Needs to Know, Holmes Beach, Florida: Learning Publications, 1985.
Walters, Candice, Invisible Wounds, Portland, Oregon: Multnomah Press, 1988.
Fortune, Marie M., Is Nothing Sacred? — When Sex Pervades the Pastoral Relationship, San Francisco, California: Harper & Row, 1989.
Adams, Caren, Jennifer Fay, and Jan Loreen-Martin, No Is Not Enough, San Luis Obispo, California: Impact Publishers, 1984.
Braswell, Linda, Quest for Respect, Ventura, California, Pathfinder Publishing, 1991.
Schwendinger, Julie R. And Herman, Rape and Inequality, Beverly Hills, California: Sage Publications, 1983.
Rape and Sexual Assault: A Research Handbook, New York: Garland Publishing, 1985.
Russell, Diana E., Rape in Marriage, New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., 1982.
Foley, Theresa and Marilyn Davies, Rape: Nursing Care of Victims, St. Louis: C.V. Mosby Co., 1983.
Estrich, Susan Real Rape, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1987.
Ledray, Linda E., Recovering from Rape, New York: Henry Holt & Co., 1986.
Fortune, Marie, Sexual Violence, The Unmentionable Sin, New York: Pilgrim Press, 1983.
Surviving Sexual Assault, Los Angeles Commission on Assaults Against Women, 1985.
Taking Action, What To Do If You Are Raped, Santa Monica: Santa Monica Hospital, 1982.
McCahill, Thomas and Linda C. Meyer, The Aftermath of Rape, Lexington, Maryland: Lexington Books, 1979.
This document was last updated on March 19, 2007
Criminal Justice – The Quiz
1. Jane Goodall spent 30 years in the wilds of Africa observing chimpanzee behavior. In those 30 years, how many rapes did Goodall see among the chimpanzees?
(a) More than a hundred rapes,
(b) An occasional rape,
(c) No rapes.
In 30 years observations, Jane Goodall never saw one rape among the chimpanzees, our closest primate cousins. Though it’s not possible to draw firm conclusions about human behavior from animals, Goodall’s findings, and many other recent studies, get us questioning the old myths we have about rape. One of the most persistent myths about rape is that male biology and primitive male sex urges drive men to rape. But current information indicates that rape is more a learned act of sexual violence that comes out of social beliefs that men have a right to dominate and control women. The fact that rape is learned means that we can work to change the underlying beliefs and eliminate rape from our communities.
2. When was the first national study done on rape in the United States?
The first national study on rape, called “Rape in America”, was done in 1992 by the U.S. Department of Justice. The fact that as a nation we went to the moon and explored deep into the structure of molecules before we ever seriously asked questions about rape shows how strong is our society’s urge to ignore the subject of rape, to ignore the victims, and to ignore the search for solutions to stop rape. One reason there is such a strong tendency to avoid looking at the realities of rape is because these realities clearly expose the very violent means by which many men dominate and terrorize women. Although more people are now willing to talk about rape, we all still have to keep pushing our communities to stay focused on the important work of analyzing and stopping rape.
3. What percent of rapists are male?
98% of rapists are male. Though boys and men are sometimes victims of rape, even in these cases the rapists are almost always male. Some people believe that the reason most all rapists are male is because woman aren’t physically capable of rape. But if you think about it, women are equally capable as men of using a weapon to order another person to have sex against their will. Yet it’s extremely rare for women to do so. One reason most all rapists are male is because in male dominated societies males are taught in many ways that they are entitled to dominate women. Females aren’t taught they are entitled to dominate men.
4. True or False. Constantly bringing up the male versus female aspect of rape is not a good way to talk about rape because it just angers all the men who don’t rape.
False. The male versus female aspect of rape needs to be at the center of discussions about rape because it is sexism and the inequalities between males and females that drive rape. In the same way, it would have been impossible to stop the lynching of black people without talking about racism and white people’s domination of blacks. Men and boys who don’t rape have a very heroic role to play in eradicating rape in our society. They need to join with women in the fight for women’s equality. But first they must get over their anger about discussing the facts of male domination of females. There are many men and boys who have done that, and they are making an important difference.
5. What is meant when it’s said that all women and girls are victims of rape even though some women and girls have never been raped.
The rape of one woman is a degradation, terror, and limitation to all women. It’s similar to the group fear and oppression that terrorized all black people as a result of some black people being lynched. Most women and girls limit their behavior because of the existence of rape. Most women and girls live in fear of rape. Men, in general, do not. That’s how rape functions as a powerful means by which the whole female population is held in a subordinate position to the whole male population, even though many men don’t rape, and many women are never victims of rape.
6. Name three things that can be done to prevent rape.
The interesting thing about the answers people give to this question is that most responses will be an admonition to females about how females should alter their behavior to prevent rape. People will answer things like, “Never go out alone at night.” “Stay alert.” “Don’t linger on the streets.” “Don’t tease guys sexually.” “Always lock your windows and doors.” “Always park where there is good lighting.” “Always communicate clearly and assertively that you don’t want sex.” “Carry a whistle.”
Very few of the answers will pertain to how male behavior should be changed despite some very obvious facts: Rape won’t stop until male behavior changes. Restricting girls’ freedom is unfair. Restricting girls’ freedom never has and never will stop rape. Almost every one of the suggestions above are based on false assumptions about rape, and, in reality, do very little to protect girls from rape. Finally, constantly telling girls what they should do to prevent rape sends the harmful message that females, and not males, are responsible if they get raped.
7. So try that question again. Name three things that can be done to prevent rape.
There are many, many things that can be done to prevent rape. Here are three:
A. Protest all degrading and discriminatory treatment of women and girls.
B. Make sure there is equality between boys and girls in the home and school. If, for example, girls have to do more housework than boys, it sends a message that girls are supposed to serve boys, and as the boys get older they think girls should serve them sexually too. Girls and boys must be treated equally.
C. Integrate male dominated institutions at the top. When women hold half the power, rape and rapists will no longer be condoned.
8. In the United States, families set a teenage girl’s curfew on an average of two hours earlier than a teenage boy’s curfew. Why is this so?
The reason most often given for setting a teenage girl’s curfew on the average of two hours earlier than a teenage boy’s curfew is to protect girls from sexual assault. In fact, just a generation ago, if a rapist was known to be loose, it was common for cities to put out a citywide order for all females to be in their homes after sunset.
These city wide curfews of a generation ago and the earlier average curfews for girls today are just one of many examples of how restrictions are imposed on females’ freedom because of rape, instead of imposing restrictions on males’ freedom. Restricting girls’ freedom more than boys’ freedom is unfair and harmful to girls. It sends the message to both boys and girls that boys can do what they want and girls have to pay the price. This message doesn’t prevent rape. In fact, it’s one of the attitudes which perpetuates rape. Besides, it doesn’t even make sense that girls should be at home earlier than boys. When you think about it, there are a number of late night dangers that affect boys much more frequently than girls, like deadly car crashes.
9. Can you think of a word that is used to describe males that has the equivalent meaning of the words “whore” or “slut” as used to describe females?
The words “whore” and “slut” are very degrading terms used for females who don’t keep a tight control on their sexuality. There are no equivalent degrading terms for identical sexual behavior by males. The constant trashing of women’s and girls’ sexuality with words like “whore”, “slut”, and “bitch”, is not only immediately degrading to the individual, it also contributes to a climate which fosters rape. When free expression of female sexuality is defined as trash, and free expression of male sexuality is defined as good, then it’s much easier for men and boys to rationalize doing whatever they want sexually to women and girls.
10. If a fourteen year old is being very sexy and flirtatious with an adult, and feels love for the adult, why is it a crime for the adult to have sex with the teenager?
An adult cannot have sex with a youngster for much the same reason that its against the law for an adult to make a contract with a youngster. There is no way a youngster can set limits on an adult, can foresee the consequences, or protect themselves in the relationship. As such, any adult that has sex with a fourteen year old is automatically in a criminal and abusive relationship with the child.
11. Which is more damaging to the victim, a rape committed by a stranger or a rape committed by someone known to the victim? And why?
Five out of six forcible rapes in the U.S. are committed by someone known to the victim, like a husband, father, brother, neighbor, teacher, uncle, or boyfriend. Even today, many people don’t think that rapes committed by someone you know are as serious as those committed by a stranger. Though it’s impossible to say which rape is more damaging, being raped by someone you know can be a more intense betrayal of the victim, and can cause the victim to lose fundamental trust in those around her, and to lose trust in herself. One of the reasons rape by someone known to the victim is often not taken as seriously as rape by a stranger is because of the lingering view of women as the property of the men in her life. In fact, when a woman is raped by a stranger, some husbands and fathers still react like they are the victim, because some other man took their property.
12. True or False. Police and other authorities take rape very seriously.
True and False. Some police and authorities take rape very seriously, but way too many continue to protect rapists and ignore the victims and the crime. Just last year 2000: In New York City, TV news video showed police ignoring women’s pleas for help when the sexual assaults were occurring right in front of the officers’ eyes. In Philadelphia, journalists discovered, and Philadelphia Police finally admitted, that the department had recently dumped upwards of four thousand rape cases. In northern California, the press revealed that Catholic bishops for decades have covered up priests’ sexual assaults of children and parishioners in their care. Though there have been some improvements in the last ten years, officials of male dominated institutions, like police, district attorneys, school principals, church leaders, and company managers, continue to have a strong tendency to protect the rapist and sacrifice the victim. This is one of the main reasons rape continues to exist.
13. True or False. Rape is a very easy accusation to make, and a very difficult crime to prove.
False. This is a very old and very frequently repeated myth about rape. According to the FBI, less than 2% of rape reports are false, about the same low percentage as with most other crimes. The myth that rape is an easy accusation to make serves to wrongly undermine women’s credibility and the need for women to talk about their experience with rape.
Rape is also not a difficult crime to prove. In the first place, there’s usually no who-done-it since the victim usually always knows the perpetrator. In the second place, because the victim and perpetrator usually know each other well, there a number of investigative techniques available to detectives which take advantage of that relationship.Too many police and district attorneys continue to tell the public that rape is a difficult crime to prove in order to make excuses for not prosecuting rape.
14. What percent of rape victims do not report to police?
In the U.S., 84% of forcible rape victims do not report the crime to police. Rape is the most under-reported serious crime in the nation. And even when rape is reported, it has a lower conviction rate than robbery. Most rape victims don’t report the rape because they fear that they will be blamed for the rape, that the rape won’t be taken seriously, or that she will be stigmatized by the rape. Unfortunately, unless a rape victim gets good support from friends and proper response from authorities, it’s still true that many rape victims will be ostracized, blamed, and treated with disregard.
15. If a friend comes to you and says she or he has been raped, what should you do to help?
If you are a youngster, rape is too serious and complex for you or your friend to handle on your own. So the best thing you can do is tell your friend that rape is very serious, and and then encourage your friend that she or he needs to tell an adult who can help. If your friend won’t tell an adult, you should tell. At the same time, try not to tell all the other kids.
If you are an adult, believe your friend. Help her find help. And if she wants, always accompany your friend, or find other helpful people who can accompany your friend, whenever she goes to authorities, employers, school officials, union officials, family members etc. to deal with the rape. Just your physical presence will greatly reduce the risk that your friend will be treated badly. It will also give her the comfort and support she needs.
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Copyright © Marie De Santis,
Women’s Justice Center,