Sexual abuse refers to the act of forcing an individual to take part in a sexual behavior against their own free will. It can also be referred to as sexual molestation. The most common mode is rape, which is defined as forced sexual intercourse initiated by one person or a group of people against another person without the individual’s consent and will.
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Rape is sometimes referred to as sexual assault and is classified according to the various forms through which it takes place. For instance, date rape takes place between two individuals who are well acquainted with each other, hence the victim knows the rapist. This form of rape majorly involves close friends or people who are dating, although in most cases the rape victim is drugged to incapacitate them so as to ensure they do not offer resistance.
Rape can also occur in times of war where soldiers take advantage of the helpless women and children thus forcing them to have intercourse. It also takes place where the ruling authority forces individuals to be involved in prostitution. More so, rape can also take place after the consent of the other person, but through lies and fraud. This form of rape is referred to as deceptive rape.
Gang rape occurs when a group of people conspires to rape an individual. It is common among drug users, especially drunkards (Sobsey, 2012). The two final forms of rape are spousal and infant rape. Spousal rape is where a partner forcefully involves the other partner in sexual intercourse, while statutory rape occurs when an adult forcefully initiates sexual intercourse against children below the age of eighteen. Incest rape involves cases where relatives are raped by close relatives.
Certain social factors can be assumed to be the predisposing factors for rape, especially in societies that are deeply rooted in beliefs of male sexual entitlement. This also goes hand in hand with societies that associate physical strength and male dominance over women thus promoting male chauvinism.
In such social settings, women have no option but always give in to men’s sexual demands, and any attempt by women to resist sexual advances from men is regarded a taboo. Other societies regard marriage as an obligation by women to relentlessly offer intercourse to men without excuses or whatsoever (Sobsey, 2012). These societies encourage male sexual dominance and in the process making women prevalent victims of rape since men are justified to use force and violence to achieve their objectives. The other social factor for rape is that most people associate rape with women and hardly understand rape against men. Men are generally regarded superior and masculine, thus they fail to seek assistance when they fall prey to rapists for fear of being mocked and ridiculed.
Personal and psychological state of mind can also be a predisposing factor for rape. Men who are naturally sexually hostile and violent are mostly the culprits of rape as they are antisocial and rarely associate with others (Sorenson, 2007). Research shows that such men are usually violent towards women and even fellow men since they have a false feeling of having excess energy. They do not perceive the effects of rape on the victim, hence will always associate sex and aggression.
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The most commonly reported forms of rape are date and acquaintance rape. These two forms are committed by culprits well known to the victim and can easily be avoided through self-respect and developing a sense of caution and keenness. The first step towards protection against these kinds of rape is by avoiding secluded places, including your own house. This reduces chances of abrupt and unaware approach by anybody. An individual should also state the type of relationship they are willing to be part of so as to know the outcome from such relations. This will shun off any queer sexual advances and acts that may drag one into sexual acts by constantly keeping you within the limits of the relationship.
People under the influence of alcohol easily fall prey to rapists. For this reason, one is advised to always stay sober and avoid excessive consumption of alcohol (Baur, 2009). When going to parties where drinks are served take what you are used to and in less quantities. Futhermore, ensure you attend the party in the company of friends so that you watch over each other. A common drinking observation has it that one should never taste any of his drinks once you lost sight of it.
During first and blind dates, it is advisable to have company and avoid secluded places for such occasions (Sorenson, 2007). This ensures that there is always an active third party watching over and ready to help should anything arise. Again, once you feel uneasy or suspect anything that may threaten your sexual security, it is advisable to walk out. Although prevention is always encouraged and practiced, sometimes date rape or acquaintance rape may still occur despite all these precautions. In such cases, instinctive actions such as running, screaming and fighting back are encouraged so as to avert any impeding rapist and in the process alert the general public.
Baur, S. (2009). The Intimate Hour: Love and Sex in Psychotherapy. Boston: Houghton-Mifflin Company.
Sobsey, D. (2012). Violence and Abuse in the Lives of People With Disabilities: The End of Silent Acceptance? Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Company.
Sorenson, S. (2007). Violence and Sexual Abuse at Home: Current Issues in Spousal Battering and Child Maltreatment, New York: Haworth Press.