The Reality of Rape

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Rape is a crime of violence and aggression that not only hurts a victim for the moment, but it shatters her entire life. According to the Britannica Encyclopedia, rape is defined as “any kind of unlawful sexual activity, usually sexual intercourse, carried out forcibly or under threat of injury and against the will of the victim.” This definition has been redefined to cover same-sex attacks and attacks against those who are incapable of valid consent, including persons who are mentally ill, intoxicated, drugged, etc. (rape). Because rape crimes affect all races, cultures, ages, and economical classes, it is difficult to create concrete research on the topic because of the variances. Society in the United States by no means condones rape, but it does expect it. The theories of rape are all different but the crime is always the same, a violation of one’s self through a sexual act.

There are many different types of rape including date rape, statutory rape, gang rape, and acquaintance rape. Though there are more than a handful of different names to view rape, all of the names have one thing in common: a victim. The frightening reality is that all of the rape studies that have been done show that the perpetrator is usually someone that the victim knows and/or trusts; during the dating years, seventy to ninety percent of rapes are acquaintance or date rapes (Mackey). Even more terrifying is that only one-third of rapes are reported to law enforcement officials (Buddie & Miller). Victims are most likely afraid that by going through with the process of pressing charges on his/her perpetrator that they, in turn, will be blamed using one or more of the ridiculous rape myths, by society. The reality of rape is a startling combination of ignorance relating to rape myths, lack of reportings and convictions, severe post-traumatic feelings of the attack, and theories of rape, both psychological and sociological.

Rape is such a difficult crime to prove because it usually comes down to the victim’s word against the perpetrator’s word. In the United States, anyone who is charged with a crime is innocent until they are proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In order to prove that the crime did indeed happen, a victim is usually humiliated and she is forced to re-live the h...

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...d be convicted and sent to prison.


Buddie, Amy, & Miller, Arthur (2001). Beyond rape myths: a more complex view of perceptions of rape victims – 1. Sex Roles: A Journal of Research. Retrieved from the World Wide Web November 18, 2004:

Mackey, Frank Misogynist. Cultural rape myths. Survivors Emerging. Retrieved November 18, 2004 from the World Wide Web:

rape Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. Retrieved November 19, 2004 from Encyclopedia Britannica Premium Service:

Rennison, Callie Marie. (2002). Rape and sexual assault: reporting to police and medical attention, 1992-2000 (United States Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics No. NCJ-194530). Washington DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Retzinger, Suzanne, & Scheff, Thomas. (1997). Shame, anger, and the social bond: A theory of sexual offenders and treatment. Electonic Journal of Sociology.

Thio, Alex. (2004). Deviant Behavior (7th ed.). Boston: Pearson Education, Inc.
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