0830-0900 Gathering and Overview of the Day
|Gathering for the day||15 minutes||Possibly coffee and rolls, muffins, etc.|
|Recap of Day One||10 minutes||Respond to any questions or comments from Day One's Training|
|Examine schedule for Day Two & Housekeeping||5 minutes||Agenda for Day Two
p. 20 in manual
|Refer to agenda and announce topics for the day|
|To create immediate interest and show impact of rape on a victim||15 minutes||VCR & monitor
Available from Chief of Chaplain's Office of each branch of service
|Queue up and show
video tape of rape
(Third speaker on tape blonde woman beginning "I feel like I'm serving a life sentence.")
A brief discussion of participants' reaction to the victim's trauma and method of dealing with the crime.
|To determine chaplain's present responses to victims of rape||25 minutes||Flip chart & easel||Participants read rape scenario on p. 150 of the manual. Break into small groups of no more than four and discuss how they would respond to this crisis. (10 min.) One member from each group (if total group is not too large) reports responses which are placed on a flip chart.|
0900 - 1030 Rape (continued)
|To define rape and give its extent in America||10 minutes||Overhead projector and
Transparency made from p. T34
|Refer to pp. 150, 151 in
manual. Show & discuss Transparency "Rape -- Sexual Assault"
|To dispel myths concerning rape||15 minutes||Overhead projector &
Transparency made from p. T35
|Refer to pp. 151,152, 153
Show & discuss Transparency
|To show the impact of rape||15 minutes||Overhead projector &
Transparencies made from pp. T36, T37
|Refer to pp. 153, 154 in
Show & discuss Transparency
|To learn the stages of adjustment of a rape victim||10 minutes||Overhead projector &
Transparency made from p. T38
|Refer to p. 154, 155 in
Show & discuss Transparency
1045-1130 Rape (continued)
|To highlight important factors of the law affecting the victim of rape||10 minutes||Overhead projector &
Transparency made from p. T39
|Refer to pp. 158-161 in
Show & discuss Transparency
Sexual Assault & the Law and Factors Having a Negative Impact in Preparing for Court
|To provide an under-standing of the dynamics of acquaintance (date) rape||20 minutes||Overhead projector &
Transparency made from p. T-40
|Refer to pp. 162-165 in
manual Show &
Note: This is a very important area for chaplains. Ways of their responding to this should be elicited.
|To consider chaplain's response to the needs of the rape victim||15 minutes||Overhead projector &
Transparency made from p. T41
|Refer to pp. 166, 167 in manual Positive Clergy and Congregational Response Show Transparency & discuss|
Precisely at 7 a.m. the pastor's phone rang. A trembling voice of one of his members, an attractive woman in her 40s, member of the choir, and a leader in the congregation's outreach activities, apologized for calling so early. "I wanted to call you earlier, even in the wee hours of the morning, but I just couldn't bring myself to bother you. I hope this is not too early." The minister assured her that it was not, and that she should have felt free to call him in the middle of the night. She asked for an appointment right away, which, of course, he granted.
Haltingly she told him that she had been raped very late the night before. Her husband was out of town on business and this man, who worked in her husband's office, and whom she knew slightly, had knocked on the door, very late, getting her out of bed. When she opened the door he pushed his way in, grabbed her forcibly and proceeded to rape her.
"Had she called the police?" "No." She was ashamed and didn't know if they would believe her? "Did she know where her husband was staying?" "Yes." "Had she called him?" "No." She was afraid that he would think she was seeing this man when he was out of town -- having an affair. "Was she?" "Absolutely not!" She had not seen this man in weeks, and then only as a part of a group at an office function. She didn't even know his last name, and wasn't even sure that she had his first name correctly. "Did she go to the hospital -- see a doctor?" "Not yet." She knew that she should have, but wasn't sure how, and was too panicked and wrought up to make any decision. She feared that it might be too late now.
1. Assault - The use of unlawful force or violence either as an overt act with the intent of inflicting bodily harm; or as an unlawful demonstration of violence, either by an intentional or by a culpably negligent act or omission, which creates in the mind of another a reasonable apprehension of receiving immediate bodily harm.
a. Sexual Assault - See "Indecent Assault." For the purposes of this instruction, the term sexual assault will be used generically to include all of the terms listed in  through  below and applies to adult victims and perpetrators.
 Assault with Intent to Commit Rape - In assault with intent to commit rape, the accused must have intended to complete the offense of rape and to overcome any resistance by force.
 Assault with Intent to Commit Sodomy - An assault against a human being committed with the specific intent of completing the offense of sodomy.
 Indecent Assault - An assault with the intent to gratify the lust or sexual desires of the accused.
 Rape - An act of penile-vaginal intercourse by force and without consent. Penetration, however slight, is sufficient to complete the offense.
2. Intercourse - Physical sexual contact between individuals that involves the genitalia of at least one person.
3. Sodomy - An act whereby one person takes into his/her mouth or anus the sexual organ of another person (of the same or opposite sex) or of an animal; places his/her sexual organ in the mouth or anus of another person or of an animal; places his/her sexual organ in any opening of the body other than the sexual parts of another person; or has penile-vaginal intercourse with an animal. Penetration, however slight, is sufficient to complete the offense. From OPNAVINST 1752.1A, UCMJ Definition
Clinically, rape is regarded as an act which involves sexual activity in that genital contact is involved. However, rape is much more than just the sex act because it is also committed in order to fulfill nonsexual needs related to power, anger, and aggression. Rape involves hostility (anger) and control (power) more than passion. (3) Anger and a desire to dominate and control the victim are the primary motivations of the rapist. These factors are consistent with the victim's experience of sexual violence. The victim feels violated. (4)
Concerning Rape (5)
Rape is one of the most frequently committed violent crimes and its incidence is steadily increasing. Hand-in-hand with the rising incidence of sexual assault is the rising fear among women of such victimization. A study of perceptions of violent crime among residents of Seattle, Washington, reported that all women fear rape, especially those under 35. They report that rape is a more terrifying possibility to them than any other crime including murder, assault, and robbery.
Such fear is not necessarily misplaced. It is believed that perhaps twice as many criminal sexual assaults occur as are officially reported. Also official tallies do not reflect the number of deaths as a result of rape; these deaths are reported as murders. Every single minute in America, there are 1.3 forcible rapes of adult women; 78 women are forcibly raped each hour. Every day in America, 1,871 women are forcibly raped, equating to 56,916 forcible rapes every month. Every year in our country, 683,000 American women are forcibly raped. (See statistical page no. 16)
(1) Some specialists prefer the exclusively use of the term "sexual assault." However, most victim advocates prefer stronger terms (e.g. "rape" for sexual assault and "murder" for homicide to tell it like it is).
(2) A member of The Chaplain's Advisory Committee has advised that the Navy Sexual Assault Victim Intervention (SAVI) program manual could be very helpful in providing military specific information on this subject.
(3) Groth, Nicholas, and Birnbaum, Jean, Men Who Rape, New York: Plenam Press, 1979: 2.
(4) Fortune, Marie, Sexual Violence: The Unmentionable Sin, New York: Pilgrim Press, 1983: 7-8.
(5) National Victim Resource Center, Sexual Assault: An Overview, Rockville, Maryland: U.S. Department of Justice, 1987.
Despite the prevalence of sexual assault in the United States, a number of misconceptions surround this crime and its victims. Some of the most common myths include:
1. Rape is a crime of passion.
The notion that the rapist is controlled by overwhelming lust is far removed from the reality. Psychologists have found that the motivation behind sexual assault is most often the need to dominate and control, rather than the inability to control sexual urges. Rape is primarily an act of power and aggression, with the sexual aspects taking secondary role.
2. Women who are careful don't get raped.
Rapes occur in a variety of places and situations during any hour of the day or night. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 35 percent of all rapes occur in or near a victim's home, and there are incidences of rape in offices, schools, and other work locations. While there are certain preventative measures women can take, even the most cautious women are not perfectly safe.
3. Rape is impossible if the woman really resists.
Most victims resist sexual assault in some way, but the rapist usually has the advantage of surprise and strength. Physical force is used in 85 percent of all reported rapes, and 25 percent of victims are threatened or attacked with a dangerous weapon.
In addition to the sexual attack, more than half who are physically assaulted, receive some injury. Such injury was more likely if the victim resisted.
4. Women secretly want to be raped.
There is a difference between romantic fantasy and brutal, violent reality. There also is a difference between the fundamental right of choice in one's fantasy and the loss of control as a victim of sexual assault.
5. The rapist is usually a stranger.
Expert opinions vary. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), a woman is twice as likely to be attacked by a stranger than by someone she knows. However, sexual assault by an acquaintance "date rape" is a serious and largely unreported occurrence. In a survey sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), 6,159 college students at 32 schools nationwide were interviewed and reported that 84 percent of the victims of completed rapes knew the offender, most often (66 percent) as a date. Of these victims, 95 percent did not report the crime to the police. Similarly, the incidence of marital rape, as a form of domestic violence, goes largely unreported.
6. Women invite rape by dressing or acting seductively.
There is little correlation between physical attractiveness and the likelihood of becoming a victim. To believe that a woman "deserves" to be raped is to say that a wealthy-looking man "deserves" to be robbed.
7. If rape is imminent, the woman should relax and enjoy it.
This may be a fatal belief, according to interviews with murderers who sexually molested their victims. These offenders report that the victim's compliance or non-forceful resistance were not deterrents to the murder, with survivors being those who forcefully resisted. Even in sexual assaults without homicidal intent, it is unreasonable to expect a woman to enjoy involuntary participation in a violent, terrifying crime.
8. Women "cry rape."
The reality is that sexual assault is perhaps one of the most under reported crimes in relation to its actual incidence. BJS found that only about half of the victims of rape or attempted rape surveyed between 1973 and 1982 reported the crime to the police. Various other surveys also found that a vast number of sexual assaults go unreported, with even higher percentages of victims not reporting. In general, victims of "classic" rape, i.e., violent attack by a stranger, are more likely to report the crime than women raped by men they know, at home or in social settings. Thus, the notion that "a woman scorned" will hurl false rape accusations, considering the tendency of victims not to report out of shame or despair, is unlikely to be true.
The consequences of sexual assault for victims and their families and friends are profound. While any form of victimization is stressful, rape takes a particularly devastating toll on the self image, sense of independence, and overall emotional well-being of its victims long after any physical injuries have healed.
The Rape Trauma Syndrome describes the emotional, psychological, and social impact of sexual assault:
Those close to the victim have been found to experience similar reactions. In the immediate aftermath of a rape, the woman's parents/spouse may exhibit physical and emotional symptoms just as she does. Crying, headaches, loss of sleep, and fear of violence are common, as are feelings of revenge and guilt. In the long term, the victim's personal relationships are altered and may be shattered, as her significant others cope with their feelings toward the crime and the victim. Her family and friends may become over-protective or patronizing; other changes in usual inter-actions may occur. Personal or intimate relationships existing before the assault may be destroyed if partners fail to recognize the victim's emotional and psychological needs. Thus, the woman may not be the only victim of a sexual assault; this crime may deeply affect those around her.
Each person going through a crisis of any kind progresses through stages of emotional adjustment. A victim may spend a great deal of time in one stage and only touch lightly on another, or may pass through a number of the stages over and over again, each time experiencing them with a different intensity. Furthermore, anyone close to the victim may experience these stages as well.
SHOCK "I'm numb."
Offering information to the victim during this stage is not helpful, as she will most likely remember very little, if anything, about what occurs during this time.
DENIAL "This can't have happened."
Not yet able to face the severity of the crisis, the victim spends time during this stage gathering strength. The period of denial serves as a cushion for the more difficult stages of adjustment which follow.
ANGER "What did I do? Why me?"
Much of the anger may be a result of the victim's feeling of loss of strength and loss of control over her own life. The anger may be directed toward the rapist, a doctor, the police, or anyone else, including herself.
BARGAINING "Let's go on as if it didn't happen."
The victim sets up a bargain: She will not talk about the rape in exchange for not having to continue to experience the pain. In so doing, she continues to deny the emotional impact the rape has had upon her life.
DEPRESSION "I feel so dirty -- so worthless."
If the victim is warned of this stage ahead of time, she may not be so thrown by it. She may experience drastic changes in sleeping or eating habits, the indulging in compulsive rituals, or generalizing fears completely taking over her life. Professional counseling may be advisable. Though a painful time for her, this stage shows she has begun to face the reality of the rape. As she allows the negative emotions to surface, she should be reminded that these feelings are normal and will not last forever.
ACCEPTANCE "Life can go on."
When enough of the anger and depression is released, the victim enters the stage of
acceptance. She may still spend time thinking and talking about the rape, but she under-stands and is in control of her own emotions and can now accept what has happened to her.
ASSIMILATION "It's part of my life."
By the time the victim reaches this stage, she has realized her own self-worth and strength. She no longer needs to spend time dealing with the rape, as the total rape experience now meshes with other experiences in her life. (1)
(1) Roberts, Deborah, Adapted from Raped, Zondervan Publishing House, 1981: 157-159.
While there are no guaranteed steps that women can take to prevent rape, there are several things they can do to possibly avoid an assault.
Good Prevention Counsel
Normal crime prevention safety tips -- locking doors and windows, checking the back of your car before entering -- should be habits, no matter how 'safe' the area or circumstance.
Take immediate action if a stranger is acting suspiciously or if a dating situation is getting out of control. Don't let concerns about being thought foolish prevent you from asking for help -- security/personnel and police would rather answer a "false alarm" or escort you to your car than see you as a rape or murder victim.
The stranger outside your door with a compelling story can wait there while you make that "urgent" phone call for him. If circumstances require that you be out alone, especially at night, avoid dark or secluded areas and let others know where you are.
Walk assertively and purposefully, staying in well-lit areas when out alone at night. Restrictive clothing and high-heeled shoes may be fashionable, but are useless if the need to run or fight arises.
Some women in our society have been raised to be passive and submissive (Note 1: Clergy whose theological position, rightly or wrongly, places emphasis here, should be advised). Learned helplessness can facilitate sexual assault. General fitness and self-defense courses are useful for developing personal strengths and decreasing the likelihood of becoming a victim. (Note 2: Self-defense training may be difficult for some clergy to recommend, in view of their emphasis upon faith in God. This is a practical theological issue that each must resolve.)
Try to distract the attacker while planning an escape. Don't rely on talk alone; most rapists are not going to pay attention to their victims' pleas.
Screaming, knocking over trash cans, sounding your car horn or making any other noise may bring help.
Even in a social situation, your personal integrity is more important than a date's "ego."
Communities can also take rape prevention measures. Many communities and college campuses have organized against rape. Public awareness and education programs, "escort" services to accompany women out alone at night, self-defense classes, and a heightened awareness of the problem all contribute to prevention sexual assault.
Rape prosecutions are generally made under State law, except for the comparatively fewer instances of sexual assault occurring in areas under Federal control, such as military installations and some Indian reservations. There have been major changes in the law regarding sexual assault in the past two decades, owing to an increased awareness of the problem and to increased consciousness that the law has not always served the victim. Between 1975 and 1980 almost every state in the United States
enacted some form of rape reform legislation, and changes continue to be made. Rape reform legislation generally seeks to facilitate prosecution and assure justice for the victim. Such reforms include:
These laws restrict admission into evidence information concerning the victim's past sexual relations. Most states require a hearing and judicial determination of relevance before evidence of the victim's past sexual conduct can be heard by a jury.
Prior to reform, many states had borrowed the British common law definition of rape as the 'carnal knowledge of a female, not his wife, forcibly and against her will." Under this definition, prosecutions hinged on questions of consent and resistance that made convictions difficult and trials an ordeal for the victim. Reform removed the resistance requirement, deleting legal provisions that forced victims to prove they resisted sexual attacks to the utmost of their ability. The consent standard was also changed and rape was equated to other crimes in this regard.
Gender-neutral terms in new definitions redefined rape to enable prosecutions against both men and women for a wide range of behavior, including sexual assault with an object and homosexual assault. These changes created new crimes, termed "sexual assault," "criminal sexual conduct," or "sexual battery," permitting prosecution of any sexual assault, not only those involving forced heterosexual intercourse.
Reform introduced stair casing, or the gradation of sex offenses to prevent defendants from pleading guilty to reduced charges such as assault and battery, which give no clue to the crime's sexual nature. Rather than one charge of rape, legislatures have developed a variety of degrees for sex offenses, depending upon the circumstances of the crime and the defendant's culpability. These reforms also include sentencing laws, with some mandatory sentences or changes in modality such as sentences to treatment.
Not all reforms listed above have been adopted in every state. The statutes also vary in wording and operation. However, in assessing the impact of these reforms, one attorney noted that the number of reported rapes has approximately doubled since 1970 and tripled since 1960.
What is presented below is in part a summary of parts of Chapter 5, "Getting the Case to Trial," from The Victim of Rape: Institutional Reactions, by Holstrom and Burgess. It is based on a study of rape victims' interactions with medical, law enforcement, and criminal justice system personnel and procedures. The book would be invaluable to anyone within one of those institutional settings who works with rape victims.
The rape victim who presses her case in court often has a difficult and discouraging job to do. There is attrition at each stage. Only a small percentage of cases ever gets scheduled in court. It is the unusual victim who remains enthusiastic to press charges through this whole time. The process of getting a rape case to trial acts as a way of "cooling out" the victim, that is, it dilutes her will for justice by making its pursuit more stressful than she can endure. This is changing, but in many places is still a major problem.
I. Cross Pressures on the Victim:
A. Pressure to Drop Charges
B. Pressure to Go Through with Court
A. Psychic Energy Consumed
Wearing Victim Down. Rape victims find the long court process, and especially the many delays, wearisome and discouraging. They get emotionally prepared for court -- "psyched up" -- and then experience a letdown if the case is continued. The court process seems to last forever. Victims may feel worn down to the point where they no longer care what happens.
B. Monetary and Time Costs to Family and Friends
Court delays increase the financial and time losses for relatives and friends who accompany the victim to court. Each delay means more lost work or school time, lost pay, interrupted day, or expenses (baby-sitter, lunch, transportation).
C. Monetary and Time Costs to Victim
The cost of missing work or school is compounded by some victims' desire to keep other people from knowing what has happened. Thus they are faced with the additional problem of getting time off without revealing the reason for the absence.
The degradational costs of delay are not mentioned so explicitly by victims. Nevertheless, a sense of loss to the self does come through when one reads between the lines. It seems to come through most in comments having to do with the conditions of waiting. Victims may talk about sitting unnoticed ("We went to court and waited 'till 2 p.m. No one said anything to us.") They may talk about waiting in the courthouse corridor ("It was just awful standing out in the hall that day."), or about a wait that occurs during the appointment with the D.A., who may interrupt the interview for other business that takes priority.
A. Questions and Style -- The manner and style adopted when interviewing a rape victim has a strong impact on how helpful her answers are and how she is affected emotionally by the experience. Questions asked in a supportive way without implying judgements about her actions or behavior are most effective. An effort should be made to put the victim at ease. Abruptness should be avoided.
B. Advice and Explanations -- Rape victims by and large are unfamiliar with workings of the court. Most have not been to court before, and they do not know what to expect or what is expected of them. Adequate time (as determined by the victim) spent on advice and explanations will make the victim feel less threatened and vulnerable and enable her to be a more effective witness.
C. Pressure on the Victim and Victim Requests -- Prosecutors occasionally put victims under considerable pressure, either to strengthen their story or to reduce the charges to a lesser offense. Such pressure may lead the victim to believe that her personal tragedy is being manipulated by the system and the true reality of what happened to her is not being taken seriously. A more effective way for the prosecutor (or support person) to deal with these or other problematic situations is to inform the victim fully and in a supportive manner of what the problems and options are and empower/encourage the victim to make the decision. Many rape victims experience a loss of control in their legal case as an extension of the rape itself, in which loss of control over their lives is a paramount issue. Providing victims full participation in the preparation of their cases is not only good therapy for them, but encourages the kind of cooperation needed for thorough planning and strong presentation. Empowerment is key.
D. The D.A.'s Role -- from Interrogator to Counsel * -- The data in this study suggest that there is a psychological payoff to victims when D.A.'s conceive of their role as legal counselors rather than as moral arbiters or interrogators. Five issues which victims say are of concern to them are: (1) indications of suspicion about their truthfulness, (2) judgmental commands, (3) explanations and advice, (4) privacy, and (5) general "style." Sensitivity to these issues by the D.A. is likely to encourage the rape victim to be more willing to go through the court process.
* This advice is given to District Attorneys. Clergy will profit from it, however, as they serve in support roles.
The typical image of a rapist is a crazed maniac who jumps out of the bushes, brandishes a knife or gun and forces a woman to have sex with him. Images like this are strong and lasting but they mask the essential fact that most rapes are committed by acquaintances and lovers. The false image lives on because few rapes by acquaintances are reported: in fact those involved often do not recognize that a rape has occurred.
The legal definition of rape is a victim having sexual intercourse against her will and without her consent. (2) Sexual assault is defined as a sexual encounter other than intercourse (such as oral and anal sex) against the victim's will and without his or her consent. In many states only a woman can be legally raped by a man, but the FBI estimates that 10 percent of all sexual assault victims are men. The victim does not have to be threatened with a dangerous weapon or be injured for an incident to be considered rape. Coercion or threat of force of violence are sufficient. (3)
How can "nice" men with "good intentions" coerce someone to have sex? It is because men and women in the process of becoming social beings learn communication patterns that make acquaintance rape likely.
In our culture, men are taught to view women as either virtuous or sexually loose, which contributes to uncertainty about female desires. Men are taught to not take women seriously, that women do not really mean what they say. Young women are taught that males know more about sex than females, so the female should comply with the male's demand. Both males and females feel certain behavior allows a man to force sex, such as the woman "leading the man on."
These uncertainties are often based on the reluctance of women and men to express their feelings. Many times in verbal communication if something is clearly wrong with a woman (she is crying or slamming doors) and she is asked what is wrong, she may say "nothing" rather than express her true feelings. Men display this same type of behavior, expressing anger or frustration by punching walls or speaking through clenched teeth, but still saying nothing is wrong. The message is that in a situation where verbal and nonverbal messages are inconsistent, the verbal message is not accurate.
In sexual situations the verbal and nonverbal messages are frequently inconsistent. This inconsistency was often established when a boy was told by his mother, his teacher (usually female) or another woman in a position of authority to do something. If he didn't the consequences would be severe. If the deadline was then extended or the consequence was not severe, he learned that those women did not mean what they said.
Some men do not believe a woman's verbal messages in sexual encounters either. In fact, a man may actually feel he is doing a woman a favor by pushing her sexually: if she says no to a sexual overture, she may really want to say yes but is afraid she will be viewed as loose. He thinks she says no because she is worried about her reputation, not because she really does not want to have sex with him. So if he pushes her even if she is saying no, they will both ultimately get what they want: she will get sex without tarnishing her reputation, and he will be satisfied. In this type of interaction the male feels that he is acting as he should and would probably be surprised to find that some women really mean it when they say no.
Women and men also believe that men should know more about sex. If he tells her that "everyone else is having sex", and that "something is wrong with people who don't" she may be willing to have sex with him even though it is not what she wants to do.
There is also tremendous peer pressure for the male to have sex on a date. Even if he does not want to initiate sex, a man may feel he has to or his date will think he is gay. He is encouraged by other young men to "score" sexually to be considered manly. The woman, even if she does not want sex, may think that the man finds her unattractive if he does not initiate sex. These pressures are responsible for people having sex when neither want it.
It is difficult to reject group standards if one believes that the only way to be a
valuable person is to be associated with others who are valuable. A young woman
who has low self-esteem may date the captain of the football team in order to raise her
value. If the male in this situation uses coercion by telling her he will not continue
going out with her unless she has sex with him, she may comply to maintain her status
as his girlfriend.
When forced sex becomes "acceptable"
Some men feel that a particular female behavior permits a man to force a woman to have sex. Charlene L. Mulenhard of Texas A&M University and Richard McFall of Indiana University reported the results of a study in which 106 college students were asked to respond anonymously about acceptable behavior in dating situations.
The subjects were given descriptions of three types of dates that varied in respect to who initiated the date, where the couple went, and who paid. They were then asked if there were any circumstances in which forced sex was justified. Men rated intercourse against the woman's wishes as significantly more justifiable when the woman initiated the date, when the man paid and when the couple went to the man's apartment. (4)
UCLA researchers posed similar questions to teens. A high percentage of the male teens felt that forced sex was acceptable if the woman said yes and then changed her mind (54%), if he spent a lot of money on her (39%), if she "led him on" (54%), and if he is so turned on that he thinks he can't stop (36%). (5)
Patterns in acquaintance rape
Groth and Birnbaum reported a three-stage pattern in rapists' behavior concerning acquaintance rapes. First a rapist will invade a woman's personal space (for instance, by putting his hand on a woman's knee in a public place). This is common in fraternity parties and in bars when the music is so loud the couple must be close to hear each other. (6)
If the woman does not object, the rapist proceeds to the second stage in which he will desensitize her to the intrusion by escalating the behavior (moving his hands to her buttocks, for example). It is unlikely that she will tell him that she is uncomfortable with his "roaming hands" but she may feel uneasy as a result of this behavior and suggest going someplace less crowded. She does not want her friends to see how forward he is being, and she does not want to stay close to him. He may misinterpret her suggestion as her way to be alone with him. The third stage is when they are in an isolated place and the rapist attacks.
This is a general pattern in acquaintance rape, and though all victims and rapists are different, alcohol and drugs are often involved in incidents of acquaintance rape. In a study or rape in Canada, alcohol was used by half of all offenders and by one third of the victims (British Columbia Rape Prevention Project 1980). This is important for young adults since peer group expectations usually include consumption of alcohol at social events. (7)
Solution to the problem
There are many things men can do to view forced sex for what it is and to begin to try to stop it on a personal or societal level. First they must understand that forced or coercive sex is rape even if the partner is a friend or lover. It is never acceptable to force yourself on a woman even if you think she's been teasing and leading you on or you have heard that women say no but mean yes. It is not "manly" to use force to get your way.
Women should be aware that their assertive actions may be interpreted by men as justification for rape. This does not mean that women should avoid using assertive behavior with men, but that they be aware of how assertiveness may be interpreted by men.
Since socialization is responsible for many sex attitudes, both men and women must be willing to explore importance of traditional socialization on their behavior. College men, for example, are exerting peer pressure to condemn, rather than condone the notion of women as conquest. Adult females who influence male children must be clear about messages, truthful about feelings and consistent in disciplining. Failure to do so may lead to young men not taking women's verbal messages seriously.
Once these men become adults themselves they have the potential to influence the socialization of children. They can teach children about the importance of communicating their feelings clearly and consistently.
(1) Parrot, Andrea, "Human Ecology Forum," College of Human Ecology.
(2) Burkhard, B. "Acquaintance Rape Statistics and Prevention," A paper presented at the Acquaintance Rape and Rape Prevention on Campus Conference in Louisville, Kentucky.
(3) FBI. Uniform Crime Reports, Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office: 1982.
(4) Mulenhard, C.L. and R.M. McFall. "Dating Initiation From a Woman's Per-spective," Behavior Therapy: 1981: 12.
(5) Giarrusso, R., Johnson, P., Goodchilds, J., and Zellman, G. "Adolescent Cues and Signals: Sex and Sexual Assault," a paper presented to a symposium of the Western Psychological Association Meeting. San Diego, CA: 1979.
(6) Groth, A.N. Men Who Rape: The Psychology of the Offender. New York: 1979.
(7) British Columbia Rape Prevention Project "Rape Prevention Resource Manual," based on a study of rape in Canada and Vancouver, MTI Teleprograms: 1980.
This form of rape that is still not receiving sufficient attention of professionals (clergy included), law enforcement, the courts or, often, even the victim herself. In a May, 1984, address, David Finkelhor, Ph.D., Associate Director of Family Violence Research Program, University of New Hampshire, and one of the nation's leading authorities on sexual abuse, made the following statements.
"The depth of popular ignorance about the problem of marital rape runs deep... People are apt to think of marital rape, if they think of anything at all, as a bedroom squabble over whether to have sex tonight... But marital rape does have brutality and terror and violence and humiliation to rival the most graphic stranger rape."
It is vitally important that clergy, who are often involved in marriage counseling, be aware of this damaging form of sexual assault. All the dynamics of rape outlined in this section also apply to marital rape, which is forced, non-mutual sex having the elements of power, anger, and aggression outlined on p.150. A text on this subject, Rape in Marriage, by Diana E. Russell, is listed in the bibliography at the end of this section. I Corinthians 7:4&5, which emphasizes mutuality in the sexual activity of married couples, can be helpful to Christian clergy in dealing with this subject scripturally.
Clergy and religious counselors can readily see, from the information in this section, how important it is understand the trauma of the victim of rape. Probably the most damaging pastoral response to a victim of rape is that of judgmentalism or of questioning as to what she did to invite the act. A sexual component, or whether or not the violation occurs within a relationship (casual or long term) does not minimize the act. It is assaultive and criminal. The victim of rape desperately needs compassionate, non-judgmental understanding and assistance.
Since the common misperception continues to exist, it is well to repeat that rape is not primarily a sexual crime. It is violent assault with a sexual weapon. The primary issues are power and anger, not sex. The resource section of the manual lists many good publications explaining this.
However, since rape involves a sexual act, and sexual conduct is a moral issue for the church, there can be a tendency on the part of clergy and congregations to see rape only in sexual terms. Nothing can be more damaging to the victim of rape.
Historically, the religious community has dealt with sexual morality around such issues as seductiveness, provocativeness, promiscuity, and even proper dress to avoid such conduct. Consequently, if rape is seen to be primarily sexual, there is a strong temptation to put some blame on the victim for inciting the perpetrator.
In the crime of rape, the victim rather than the violent assaultive perpetrator, is more likely to be given a share of blame than in any other crime. Clergy and congregations should definitely reject such a response.
First, it is important for the victim to receive law enforcement, medical and legal assistance. When possible refer to a rape crisis center. They will have specially trained counselors. Many rape victims are reluctant to report the crime or encourage prosecution because of that edge of blame, spoken or unspoken, that seems to be always present; as well as because of the humiliation of such an intimate personal violation. Clergy should remember that the successful prosecuting of a rape case could protect other innocent women. It may be very difficult for a rape victim to deal with the criminal justice process. The victim should receive strong support through the court hearings.
Exhibiting non-judgmental compassion and understanding, clergy and congregations can stand by the victim at every step from the medical examination through the prosecution. The violation of the person who has been raped results in some of the most acute trauma experienced from any violent crime. Because this crime violates the body, not only externally, but internally in the most intimate manner, triggering acute emotions, the victim of rape may often be out of control. To understand, and be quietly present, giving reassurance that the crime was not her fault is very helpful.
The victim's family will also need a great deal of emotional support during the aftermath of the crime. Since the victim may now present a totally different personality, and shy away from even her husband's most gentle and loving approaches, a good deal of counseling and understanding during this time is necessary. Clergy should be aware that there are therapists who specialize in rape issues, and that rape crisis centers are an invaluable aid. Congregational support groups can also be very helpful.
Since the business of faith communities is to deal with right and wrong, the strong temptation to judge is always present. But the business of the people of God is also to love, care for, support and comfort those who have been hurt. In the case of rape to indulge in the former is to preclude the latter.
Note: Adults who were molested as children are in need of specialized care. Self-help groups under the direction of knowledgeable therapists are particularly helpful. A good resource, in addition to those on the following pages, is Parents United, International, P.O. Box 952, San Jose, California 95108-0952, (408) 280-5505.
National Center on Women and Family Law
799 Broadway, Room 402
New York, New York 10003 (212) 674-8200
National Coalition Against Sexual Assault
912 N. Second Street
Harrisburg, PA 17102-8119 (717) 232-7460
Center for the Prevention of Sexual and
936 N. 34th Street, Suite 200
Seattle, Washington 98103 (206) 634-1903
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
P.O. Box 18749
Denver, Colorado 80218-0749 (303) 839-1852
National Organization for Victim Assistance
1757 Park Road N.W.
Washington, DC 20010 (202) 232-6682
National Victim Center (703) 276-2880
2111 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 300 1(800) FYI-CALL
Arlington, Virginia 22201 Fax (703) 276-2889
National Victims Resource Center
P.O. Box 6000
Rockville, Maryland 20850 1(800) 627-6872
Office for Victims of Crime
U.S. Department of Justice
633 Indiana Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20531 (202) 307-5983
The Spiritual Dimension in Victim Services
P.O. Box 6736 (303) 333-8810
Denver, Colorado 80206-0736 Fax (303) 333-8805
FOR LOCAL RESOURCES clergy may contact the above mentioned organizations, the rape crisis and assistance centers, the sexual assault treatment programs of their community, or the victim and witness assistance coordinator of their district or state's attorney's office.
NOTE 1: This list contains only a very few of the vast number of publications on the subject of rape. The inclusion of these publications in this manual does not imply endorsement by The Spiritual Dimension in Victim Services or the U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime. They have, however, been read and recommended by qualified professionals in the field.
NOTE 2: The bibliography in this manual under "Family Violence/Children" contains publications dealing with child sexual assault. The following deal primarily, though not entirely, with rape of adult women.
Brownmiller, Susan, Against Our Will, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1975.
McEvoy, Alan and Jeff Brookings, If She Is Raped: A Book for Husbands, Fathers and Male Friends, Holmes Beach, Florida: Learning Publications, 1984.
McEvoy, Alan and Jeff Brookings, If You Are Raped: What Every Woman Needs to Know, Holmes Beach, Florida: Learning Publications, 1985.
Walters, Candice, Invisible Wounds, Portland, Oregon: Multnomah Press, 1988.
Fortune, Marie M., Is Nothing Sacred? -- When Sex Pervades the Pastoral Relationship, San Francisco, California: Harper & Row, 1989.
Adams, Caren, Jennifer Fay, and Jan Loreen-Martin, No Is Not Enough, San Luis Obispo, California: Impact Publishers, 1984.
Braswell, Linda, Quest for Respect, Ventura, California, Pathfinder Publishing, 1991.
Schwendinger, Julie R. And Herman, Rape and Inequality, Beverly Hills, California: Sage Publications, 1983.
Rape and Sexual Assault: A Research Handbook, New York: Garland Publishing, 1985.
Russell, Diana E., Rape in Marriage, New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., 1982.
Foley, Theresa and Marilyn Davies, Rape: Nursing Care of Victims, St. Louis: C.V. Mosby Co., 1983.
Estrich, Susan Real Rape, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1987.
Ledray, Linda E., Recovering from Rape, New York: Henry Holt & Co., 1986.
Fortune, Marie, Sexual Violence, The Unmentionable Sin, New York: Pilgrim Press, 1983.
Surviving Sexual Assault, Los Angeles Commission on Assaults Against Women, 1985.
Taking Action, What To Do If You Are Raped, Santa Monica: Santa Monica Hospital, 1982.
McCahill, Thomas and Linda C. Meyer, The Aftermath of Rape, Lexington, Maryland: Lexington Books, 1979.