Rape is a horrific crime against a person. Either a male or a female can be the victim of rape. A man or a woman can commit rape. Statistics show 1 out of 4 females and 1 out of 5 males will be the victim of a sexual assault before they reach the age of 18. In reality, sadly, the statistics are probably more than 1 in 4 and 1 in 5, as many people who are the victim of rape will never report the crime.
The reason a rape victim might chose not to report what happened to them is varied. Some rape victims blame themselves, often believing he or she may somehow have misled the perpetrator. Many rape victims unknowingly receive a date rape pill that makes them incoherent for a period. These rape victims will have little if any recollection of the rape. The victim often has a feeling that something is just not quite right, yet there is no explanation for what the victim feels. The victim may have awakened naked, or in a strange place.
There are two kinds of rapists, but one reason for rape.
Many people mistakenly believe rape is about sex. The truth is rape is about power and control. A victim may know the rapist as in date or acquaintance rape. Rape is a crime against a person. A crime the victim will live with the rest of his or her life. An event that may cause a victim to change the way he or she lives, views the world, and responds to many things from that day forward.
Victims of rape often question themselves in their own minds repeatedly about the woulda, coulda, shoulda regarding what happened. The if only ideas and self-statements can haunt a rape victim more than the rape itself. If only…I had not gotten into the car. If only…I had not accepted a drink. If only…I had left with my friends. If only…I had stayed home, left earlier, or done this and not done that, or did that and not this…
If you believe you are a victim of rape, there are important steps to take in order to get help for yourself and to preserve any evidence that may help prosecute the attacker. If the rape just happened, do not shower or wash your clothes. Go immediately to the nearest hospital emergency room. Tell the triage nurse what you think may have happened. A SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) nurse might be available to perform the rape kit exam.
If you believe you have been raped and it happened in the recent past. Please speak with your local physician or law enforcement or a counselor. What happened may or may not ever fully be available to you depending on the circumstances of the situation.
Once the rape is in the past, many people believe he or she can ignore or forget what happened. This is a fallacy. If one tries to forget or ignore what happened he or she will spend an inordinate amount of time and energy trying to push the intrusive and constant thoughts or flashbacks away.
Instead of ignoring what happened and believing you will eventually forget about the rape please get help. Find a counselor who works with rape victims. Go to a sexual assault support group and learn how to work through this traumatic event and move forward with your hopes and dreams in life.