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Understanding the true meaning of rape and its effects

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Criminology
Wordcount: 3298 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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When people think of rape, they might think of a stranger jumping out of a dark shadowy place and sexually attacking someone. But the reality to all of this is, it’s not only strangers who rape. In fact, about half of all people who are raped know the person who attacked them. Females are most often raped, but males can also be raped. Most friendships, acquaintances, and date rape never lead to violence, of course. But, sadly, sometimes it does happen. When forced sex occurs between two people who already know each other, it is known as date rape or acquaintance rape.

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Even if the two people know each other well, and even if they were intimate or had sex before, no one has the right to force a sexual act another person against his or her will. Although it involves forced sex, rape is not about sex or passion. Rape has nothing to do with love. Rape is an act of aggression and violence. You may hear some people say that those who have been raped were somehow “asking for it” because of the clothes they wore or the way they acted. That’s wrong: The person who is raped is not to blame. Rape is always the fault of the rapist. And that’s also the case when two people are dating or even in an intimate relationship. One person never owes the other person sex. If sex is forced against someone’s will, that’s rape. Healthy relationships involve respect including respect for the feelings of others. Someone who really cares about you will respect your wishes and not force or pressure you to have sex.

Date rape is defined as non-consensual sexual (vaginal, anal, oral) intercourse that is forced (by way of physical force or psychological coercion) on a person by someone that they know. Date rape is a criminal act that is perpetrated by a social acquaintance, a friend, or a dating or intimate partner of the victim. Date rape is a complex and difficult area of criminal law, given the nature of the relationship between the victim and the defendant. Most jurisdictions, however, make no legal distinction between date rape and rape that is committed by strangers. Alcohol has been used in years to commit rape because it is easy to access, and it is still the most widely used drug for committing sexual assault. The use of other date rape drugs to commit rape is becoming more common, however, because these drugs are easily combined with alcohol to enhance their effects. These date rape drugs are often referred to as “club drugs” because of their popularity in dance clubs and bars.

Every state and the federal government treat the act of rape as a crime. Although there are slight variations in the terms used to define the act of rape among the different laws, there is one common element the victims lack of consent. The most common and lack of consent is stated when drugs and alcohol are used to commit a rape. In cases such as these the victim is incapable and is unable to fight off the attacker or is unable to say “no”, regardless of the victims state at the time of the attack it is still sufficient to meet the definition of rape. The type of rape that are mainly associated with drugs and alcohol is either “acquaintance rape” or “date rape”. Date rape alone has become a real problem in today’s society. The issue was introduced to the public because of the high profile trails of Mike Tyson and William Kennedy Smith. More recently basketball star Kobe Bryant has also made headlines in a case related to date rape. In all of these cases the victim stated that they defendants, who they knew well forcibly, raped them.

Many rape victims are in the late teens and early twenties. A recent study on the subject of date rape reported that women between the ages of sixteen and twenty-four experience rape at rates four times higher than the assault rate for all women. Another study conducted in 1988 by M.P.Koss showed that five percent of the women raped reported the incident, but what is more alarming is that forty-two percent of the victims later had sex with the perpetrator again.

Alcohol and Drugs

Alcohol is just one of many drugs used to commit a rape. Others substances include marijuana, cocaine, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, chloral hydrate, heroin, morphine and LSD. Three of the most commonly used drugs today is Rohyonol, Gamma Hydroxybutyrate (GHB), and Ketamine. These drugs were originally developed for specific medical reasons, but today they are used illegally in drug related sexual assaults, in cases where unsuspecting victims are incapacitated and left unable to resist sexual advances. In the last few years, drug related sexual assault has become a growing concern among health and community educators. There are a wide amount of drugs that has become known as “date rape drugs” or “predatory drugs” they are known by these names because they are used to incapacitate individuals for the purpose of committing a crime, often sexual assault. The fact remains that the use of recreational drugs to commit rape is not a new concept. Alcohol has been used for years to commit rape, because of its easy accessibility and today it is still the most widely used drug for committing sexual assault. However the use of other date rape drugs for committing rape is becoming more common, because these drugs are easily accessible, inexpensive, and have a rapid effectiveness on the victim. They can easily be combined with alcohol to enhance their effectiveness. These particular date rape drugs are often referred to as “club drugs” because of their popularity in dance clubs and bars (Kehner, 2004).

Rohypnol is the trade name for flunitrazepam, it is a benzodiazepine similar to Valium but it is ten times more potent. It has many street names, such as “roofies”, “roache”, the “forget-me pill”, “mind erasers” and “Mexican Valium”. The pill was designed to be used as a sleeping pill in some countries, but it has never been approved for use in the United States. Rohypnol usually comes in the form of pills. After being slipped into someone’s drink, Rohypnol leaves no detected taste, color or order, and it will take effect after five to thirty minutes. The effects of this drug can be felt for many hours after being taken. Some of the effects that Rohypnol causes are blurry vision, drowsiness, confusion, dizziness and difficulty to move.

Gamma Hydroxybutyrate (GHB) was designed for medical use; it is a popular drug in France and Italy it is used as an aid in childbirth because it relaxes the muscles. It has a great effect on sleep a very small amount produce relaxation, tranquility, and drowsiness. A high dose of this medication will induce sleep with five to ten minutes. However the sleep effects only last for three hours, but not everyone can be put to sleep by this drug. It is also used primarily to relieve withdrawal symptoms, cravings and anxiety among alcoholics. There have been reports of addiction and death related to Gamma Hydroxybutyrate (GHB), because of this in 1990 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned over-the-counter sales of the drug. This made the drug illegal except under the strict guidelines and monitoring under a doctor’s care. The possession of Gamma Hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is a felony punishable by up to twenty years in prison.

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Gamma Hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is known on the street as “liquidecstasy”, “liquid X”, “Georgia Home Boy”, “Cherry Meth”, “Blue Nitro”, “Water” or “Soap”. Gamma Hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is a clear, orderless liquid that has a salty taste that can be masked by putting it into a flavored or mixed drink. The effects of the drug can be felt shortly after being taken, usually within fifteen minutes and can last for several hours. The drug reached its highest blood levels in twenty five to forty minutes. One gram of Gamma Hydroxybutyrate (GHB) powder can be dissolved in as little as one milliliter of water. There is no way to determine the concentration of Gamma Hydroxybutyrate (GHB) once it is in liquid form. Because of this even a small amount can result in temporarily unrousable sleep. When purchased at the club, Gamma Hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is generally sold for a few dollars per dose, but when it is purchased in large quantities it is available for ten to fifty dollars per 100 grams. Some of the effects include drowsiness, deep unresponsive sleep, nausea, and loss of consciousness.

Katamrine is known on the street as “Special K”, “Vitamin K” or “Lady K” it is a legal drug sold as a veterinary sedative or hospital grade anesthetic, when used in humans, the drug acts as a dissociative anesthetic it renders the user vaguely aware of, but detached from all bodily sensations. The pharmaceutical versions of katamine are clear, colorless liquids available in concentrations of ten, fifty, and one hundred milligram solutions. It is the liquid form tha is used as a date rape drug. Liquid ketamine is clear and colorless, and can easily be slipped into a drink without being detected. The liquid form is often baked into a solid form and sold on the street as a fine white powder. This powder can be snorted, smoked, or packed into gel caps and taken orally. The powdered form of katemine is often mistaken for cocaine or crystal methamphetamine. In all forms katamine is usually sold for twenty five to fifty dollars per gram. When taken orally this drug takes ten to twenty minutes to take effect. The most common effect includes hallucinations, cardiac excitement, confusion, violent or aggressive behavior and coma.

There are many factors that make these drugs desirable to sexual predators, because they are tasteless, odorless and mainly colorless, these drugs are virtually undetectable. The trace of these drugs usually leaves the body within seventy-two hours from the time it has been taken and they are not found in any routine toxicology screening or blood test. Because of this many physicians and police have to look for these drugs specifically and have to work quickly to find them and get rid of them in a victims system. Another reason why date rape drugs are used in sexual assaults is because they are easily slipped into drinks and are very fast acting. They make the victim become unconscious but responsive with little or no memory of what happened to what is happening while the drug is active in his or her system. These drugs also led the victim to act without knowledge, often in a sexual or physical affectionate way. Like many drugs that are abused, date rape drugs make a person incapable of thinking clearly or making rational decisions. The use of these drugs guarantees a very vulnerable victim, one who is still able to participate in sex acts but who will have little or no knowledge of what happened in the sex act, and also will have no knowledge of what happened after the event. Because of this the victim does not have any clear memory of the event or events that took place or that is taking place during the sexual assault, the victim is also unaware that he or she has even been raped. Even if the person is aware of what is going on or has any suspicions, the victim often make poor witnesses because each of these drugs can cause amnesia while in a victim’s system.

Myths about the Victim

One of the most popular myths about rape is that the victim in some way was leading the offender on. Either she was seductive or was dressed in a provocative way or because of this she only got what she asked for. Regardless if this is true or not that if the victim did act seductively or was dressed provocatively, she still has the right to change her mind. There is no law against saying no, but it is against the law not to accept a victim’s refusal. There has been case study of the offenders that has reveal evidence of pathology and ownership of responsibility for the offense. They have admitted to not being able to have self control, respect for the other person and frustration because of low tolerance. Many people believe that females are the only ones who are victims of rape. But in actuality the victims of rape include males as well as females and they range in age from infancy to old age. The places where assaults have often taken place also have ranged from the victims own house to public parks, cemeteries, beaches, shopping malls, public restrooms, churches, and alley ways. There is no place, time of day, or season in which a rape will occur, or is there a specific type of person to whom it is going to happen to. There has also been frequent believes that if a victim really wanted to prevent an assault she could. But the reality still remains that rape occurs through intimidation with a weapon, threat of harm or injury, and in many cases brutal force. Every situation is different in one case of a victim screams, the offender might run away. But another offender might cut her throat.

Myths about the offender

Just as there are myths about a victim of rape, there are myths about the offender some of those myths are; sexual assault is an impulsive, uncontrollable act of passion. The victim is irresistible to the rapist. But the fact is, rape is an act of violence, not of sexual desire. The majority of rapes that take place are planned, the offender stalks out places, he or she does research on what enticement they will use in the attack or they deliberately get their victim to be involved in a sexual relationship with them. It is the vulnerability of the victim that attracts the sexual predator. There are no limits to offenders victims; they range from infants to the elderly. Anyone can become a victim, regardless of age, sex, physical appearance, marital status, ethnic, religious or socio-economic background can be raped. Another myth is sexual assault occurs only in large cities. The fact is rape have been reported all across the country in large cities and small towns. There is however more sexual assaults occur in large cities; this is because larger cities have a greater population. The downside to a victim that lives in a rural area is they don’t have access to as many services as a victim in a larger city. Victims that are assaulted in rural areas may be less likely to tell anyone, report it to the police or seek support. Women are sexually assaulted when they are out alone at night. If women stay home they will be safe. The fact is many studies have shown that the majority of sexual assaults are committed in either the victim’s home or the offender’s home, especially in date rape cases. Most rapists hide in dark alleys, waiting for a stranger to walk past. The majority of reported rapes occur either in the victim’s home or the home of the attacker. In many cases, the victim met the offender in a public place and then was convinced by the attacker to accompanying him or her to the place where the assault will take place. Rape victims know their attacker at least casually. In many cases, offenders were well known to the victim and were in relationships that one would normally trust, they were a boyfriend, family friend, close neighbor or relative. Most sexual assaults involve a black man raping a white woman. In ninety three percent of assaults, the rapist and victim are of the same race. In four percent of sexual assault cases, black men did rape white women, while in five percent of the cases, white men raped black women. Most rapists are poor. Rape crosses all class lines. People have been raped by doctors, lawyers, police officers, and other authority figures. Because of their social and financial positions, these offenders are seldom prosecuted for the acts of violence, and their actions are seldom publicized. A victim can’t be sexually assaulted against his or her will. Rape is a crime of violence, not sexual passion. In many cases, some type of force is used, such as choking, beating, roughness, or use of a weapon. Often, the victim is threatened with death if he or she resists. Confronted with the fear of being beaten or killed, many victims do not attempt to fight an attacker. While a victim may not resist an attack due to socialization and fear of violence, this lack of resistance should not be equated with consent for the attack. Many mugging victims hand over their wallets willingly to maintain their safety, but they did not ask to be mugged. Sexual assault is provoked by the victim. Victims ask for it by their actions, behaviors, or by the way they dress. To say that someone wants to be raped is the same as saying that people ask to be mugged or robbed. In fact, most rapes are at least partially planned in advance and the victim is often threatened with death or bodily harm if he or she resists. Sexual assault is not a spontaneous crime of sexual passion. It is a violent attack on an individual using sex as a weapon. Sex is used to defile, degrade and destroy a victim’s will and control over his or her own body. For the victim, it is a humiliating, near death situation. No person would ask for or deserve such an attack. Only “bad girls” get sexually assaulted. Sexual assault occurs in all segments of our society. Most rapists choose their targets without regard to physical appearance or lifestyle. Victims are of every type, race, and socio-economic class, young and old alike. Most rapes are reported by women who “change their minds” afterwards or who want to “get even” with a man. FBI statistics show that only four percent of rape calls are false reports. This is the same false-report rate that is usual for other kinds of felonies. Women have rape fantasies and secretly desire rape. If you are going to be raped, you might as well relax and enjoy it. When people have sexual fantasies of seduction, they choose the circumstances and characteristics of their seducer. They are in control. In rape, the victim is never in control. There is a big difference between fantasy and reality. Rape is neither relaxing nor enjoyable. Again, victims often submit without struggle due to fear of physical force, or because the assailant is armed with a deadly weapon. Victims’ responses to rape reflect the violence and intense trauma of the event. Rapists are crazy, deranged, abnormal perverts. They are lonely men without female partnership. Rape is not a crime of spontaneous passion. Studies show that sixty and seventy percent of all sexual assaults are planned. Most rapists are married and having consensual sexual relations while assaulting other women. Rapists themselves do not describe their motivation in terms of sexual gratification, but in terms of hatred and conquest. Sex is used as a weapon to inflict violence, humiliation, and degradation on a victim. Indeed, rapists have said that rape is “lousy sex.” Sexual offenders come from all educational, occupational, racial and cultural backgrounds. They tend to test differently from the normal, well-adjusted male only in having a greater tendency to express violence and rage. Men cannot be raped. Sexual assault, no matter the gender of the perpetrator or victim, is a form of violence where sex is used to demean and humiliate another person. Current statistics indicate that one in six men are sexually assaulted or abused in their lifetime. Typically, the perpetrator is a heterosexual male. Sexual assault of males is thought to be greatly underreported.


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