Effects of Rape on Women

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Webster's Dictionary describes rape as the crime of forcing another person to submit to sex acts, especially sexual intercourse. Rape is a crime in which most women cannot defend themselves. The fear of rape plagues every woman at some point or another in her life. The traumatic effects of rape vary from mild to severe, from psychological to physical. This paper will evaluate rape, as well as the effects it has on women, the theory behind male dominance and patriarchy, and differences in demographics.

"Rape is a crime that combines sex and violence, that makes sex the weapon in an act of violence."(Kimmel 257) Because of this, rape is often traumatic for the victim of a rape. Many victims undergo what is known as rape trauma syndrome, "…rape trauma syndrome, consisting of an acute stage, where the primary response is fear, followed by a reorganization stage, characterized by phobias, insomnia, sexual dysfunctions, and major changes in life-style."(Chandler et al pp. 248) These are some of the psychological side effects that women must endure after the rape. There are also other factors, relating to the individual that effect rape trauma they include, "age, prior sexual experience, ethnicity, and response of significant others to the victim. Factors relating to the sexual assault, such as degree of violence and the relationship between the victim and the assailant also affect trauma."(Chandler et al pp 249) Overall, is is safe to say that there are many psychological effects of rape that allows women to fear the attack of a rape. In many rape situations, the victim is raped by an acquaintance , therefore the victim is less likely to report the rape. "About 15 percent of college women report having been sexually assaulted; more than half of these assaults were by a person that the women was dating."(Kimmel 233) If more than half of the sexual assaults and rapes are committed by a person that a women is dating or at least knows, then the...
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