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In essence, rape is when an individual is forced to partake in a sexual act without their consent. It includes penetrating or touching the vagina, anus or mouth of a victim; touching the victims penis; or forcing a victim to penetrate or touch the perpetrator’s vagina, anus or penis. The act of touching may imply using a penis, hand, mouth, finger, or anything else, such as objects (Temkin, 2002). There in essence are many negative and life changing effects of sexual assault. The main focus of these paper will be on rape victims. As someone studying law, this is a very important topic to my course since it will provide me with the necessary theoretical knowledge that will be vital to my professional life.
There is a lot of research done on rape. It has physical, psychological, and emotional impacts on a victim. These impacts are not generally simple to manage, however with the right support and assistance they can be managed. According to a student done by Dean G. Kilpatrick (2000), rape is of different kinds, date rape, statutory rape, gang rape, spousal assault, prisoners of war rape and jail rape (Dean G. Kilpatrick, 2000). The experiences of rape are not only a physical and the impacts can last for quite a long time, regularly cause lasting aversion sexual conduct and social awkwardness. Either way the victim is left emotionally, physically and psychologically frightened.
According to Bailey et al. (1984), frequently rape trauma can be severe to the point that the victim should be institutionalized and hospitalized so as to completely recover from the experience. Chapleau (2010) found that rape perpetrators are not unknown individual and raoe by fathers, uncles, ex-husbands, husbands, boyfriends, ex-boyfriends and friends are very common. Fundamentally, no one can say they are very safe. As Dean G. Kilpatrick (2000) found out, there were around 18359 cases of sexual assaults. Out of this about 86.4 percent of the perpetrators were known to the victims.
Rape has been found to cause Self-mutilation which is where an individual deliberately or purposefully cuts or harms oneself. The pain felt is seen as a purge or a punishment. Many victims even feel that focusing on the pain from the cuts or injuries helps incidentally forget the pain of the assault itself. According to Bailey et al. (1984), some likewise inflict pain to punish themselves as they feel it was their fault; or they are being blamed.
Consequently, Chapleau (2010) found out that many rape victims are also blamed. There are many who hold the belief in “just world hypothesis,’ believing that the world in inalienably just and that people get only what they deserve. Thus, they may have a misguided sense of security. To avoid feeling unsafe, they persuade themselves that they would not be raped since they don’t merit it. According to Chapleau (2010), many others believe in discrediting the Victim, saying that their behavior or dressing caused it.
Jennifer Temkin in her book ‘Rape and the Legal process’, mentions a Police Review extract describing ways of appropriately dealing with rape reports. Some of these reads; ‘allow her (the victim) to make her statement to a policewoman and then rive a horse and cart through it.’ The thinking behind it is to guarantee that some ‘malicious’ ladies do not accuse their lovers for revenge of in order to secure their own dignity (Temkin, 2002). Laws on rape differ across the globe. For instance, in Pakistan, a rape woman must have four witnesses to confirm that the rape happened. In many nations in the Middle East, honor killings are perpetrated against women perceived to have brought disgrace to their families, because of the rape.
Currently, Rape Recovery program provides therapy, crisis counseling, advocacy through the courts and emotional support during recovery process, in addition to information and referrals to other helpful programs. Current rape recovery programs provided in the community also assist with safety planning. As they are, they help victims rape with Crime Victims Reparations which are funds to cater of expenses arising from the crime, for example, mental health and medical costs, therapy, relocation if necessary and replacement of damage items (‘Rape Prevention and Education (RPE) Program|Funded Programs|Violence Prevention|Injury Center|CDC,’ 2018). It Rape Education program enables teens to make educated and safe choices on relationships and dating. Presentations are provided on sexual harassment, relationships, rape and dating violence. These can be tailored to address the victim’s needs.
Essentially, what is missing in the current systems is that it does not go beyond helping the immediate victim. This programs lack a way of incorporating the family and loved ones of the victims in the recovery process, a factor that is important to not only the victim but also their families and spouses. For instance, if my wife is raped, I am also extremely affected by this and I should be incorporated in the recovery program. This is what is missing in these programs and is the solution am going to provide.
My recovery program is based on what is currently missing in the services provided by sexual assault victim recovery programs. As such, on top of what is currently offered as discussed above, my programs will provide additional services incorporating the victim’s spouses and family. As already described above, the current programs leave the victim’s family and spouse out or even ignore them entirely while only concentrating on the victims (‘Rape Prevention and Education (RPE) Program|Funded Programs|Violence Prevention|Injury Center|CDC,’ 2018). It is worth noting that even rape victim’s families and loved ones are victims in case of such situation and therefore there should be away that they could be taken into consideration in the whole recovery process.
Research has shown that victim who recover from rape through the available programs face another problem when they go back to the community. One of these problems, which is basically the major one is acceptance from the family and spouses so that they resume normal life. This has been a very big problem that has led to many rape victims never really recovering in the long run.
Take for instance the case where the victim was married, had a husband or a wife, it is always for the victims partner to accept them and life goes back to normal. Research has shown that many rape victims especially those married experience sexual problems in their marriages even after recovery. This is because the victim’s partner might not fully accept them with the new reality. The partner’s sexual activities are affected. This has led to dysfunctional relationships or even divorce. This is due to the failure of the current recovery programs (‘Rape Prevention and Education (RPE) Program|Funded Programs|Violence Prevention|Injury Center|CDC,’ 2018).
My programs will incorporate family members and spouses in the victim’s recovery program. This is because my program lays much emphasis on acceptance of the victim’s new reality at the family level. This will include services such as family trauma counseling whereby the family will be guided through the process of understanding the victim and ensuring that this understanding leads to total acceptance of the victim.
Secondly, on top of what is being offered, my programs will provide sex counseling for couples. This is always the hardest part for both the victims and their spouses. If left unattended to it can lead to even divorces in a worst case scenario. For instance, a husband might feel that his wife (victim) is ‘unclean’ and this psychologically affects then, consequently affecting the couples sex life.
As already evident, my program is better that what the community is providing right now because it seeks to not only heal the victim, but also heal the family and loved ones. Concentrating on the victims and leaving the immediate family and friends out is proving to be ineffective. For sure, there is not one who can help the victims heal than the family and friends.
Essentially, rape is a major issue in our society today and its effects are pervasive. From emotional effects such as embarrassment, lack of control, self-blame and isolation to physical effects such as a safety concern, being startled easier and change in sleeping pattern to the more serious psychological effects such as nightmares, anxiety, low self-esteem and depression, there is a need to help victims.
It is true that rape affects both men and women negatively, however, one thing we all agree on is that if appropriate assistance is provided to the victims for recovery, these effects can be management and even mitigated. What is important to note here is ‘appropriate assistance,’ not just an assistance. This is important because there are so many factors at play when it comes to rape victim’s recovery.
The current programs provide some degree of help such as hospitalization, institutionalization, compensation and therapy to which all center on the immediate victim. Thus, they ignore the victims’ families, spouses and friends who are the people who are very instrumental in the eventual recovery of victims.
Consequently, my proposed programs is the best since it fills the gap that is there. By understanding the importance of family healing and recovery, my program will provide counseling to those close to the victim such as spouse, family members and close friends. This will help in the victim’s acceptance and the acceptance of the new reality of their lives.
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