We, as a society, hear the word rape and picture a woman being attacked in a dark alley by some drifter. We, as media-educated drones, envision a college co-ed going to a party and being assaulted by a gang of frat boys. We, as women, imagine some sicko holding a knife to our throats to get what he wants. Is that rape? Yup! But, all those scenarios account for only about 28% of rapes in America.
That leaves 72% of rapes that don’t fit the stereotype. Huh? How can we not know what most rapes are like? That doesn’t make any sense. What we know as rape isn’t the majority. Why? How can it be that so many rapes committed aren’t what we know rape to be? No one wants to talk about real rape. No one wants to put it out there for discussion. No one wants to admit that our society has a large majority of rapes that are unspeakable, let alone unthinkable. Or even worse, society just doesn’t think the majority is as bad as the stereotype. If that’s the case, we’re dead wrong-every last one of us.
Real rape doesn’t have to be physically violent. Only 5% of completed rapes result in serious physical injury. So if the rapist didn’t hurt them, how’d they get raped? Most rapes involve much more deceptive tactics to achieve the ‘final goal.’ The victim is pressured, coerced, manipulated and even tricked (lied to) into doing the will of the predator, even when they don’t want to and say no. The tactics can vary, but we’ve all heard them voiced in society, “I talked her into it”; “I wore her down”; and the infamous “No means Yes.” There is no such thing as ‘convincing’ someone to have sex. While I hate to use the cliché, it’s puts it bluntly-No means No.
Real rape doesn’t have to be committed by a stranger. A staggering 80% of rapes are carried out by someone you know. That means that your assailant is your husband, boyfriend, friend, relative or co-worker. The authorities call it acquaintance rape, but its real rape, plain and simple. Your attacker will know you and everything about you. They’ll know what to say and do to get what they want. Some might say this kind of rape isn’t as bad, since you know your rapist, but that’s a load of you-know-what. Studies show that rape by an acquaintance has more far-reaching psychological effects and symptoms than stranger rape. I mean, just imagine it. Someone you love or care about, committing such a heinous act upon you against your will. How can that not mess you up?
Approximately 73% of rape victims don’t identify their rapes until much later.