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Sexual Assault: Definition, Types, Causes, Factors, and How to Prevent It Essay

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Updated: May 12th, 2022

Introduction

Each day cases of physical as well as psychological assault are reported in various parts of the world. However, it is important to note that other cases go unreported due to various factors. These cases range from domestic violence to other relatively more serious cases like rape. While many people know only of rape as being the act of forcefully having sex with a lady, there are more types of rape that occur in our society. Arguably, rape has social and psychological effects. It is important to note that it has been difficult to control rape in our society despite the fact that tough legal actions are taken against perpetrators of the crime. Nevertheless, there are several ways through which rape can be prevented.

Definition of Rape

In simple terms, rape can be defined as the act of having sex with a person without express and free consent of the person. It is important to note that forcing one into doing sex does not only involve using physical force but also bribes, intimidation as well as emotional coercion (Raphael, 2013). Contrary to the beliefs of many people, rape occurs to both men and women. On the same note, having sex with a person who is unable to give informed and free consent due to one reason or another is also considered to be rape. In this regard, any sexual act must get approval from all the concerned parties bearing in mind that each person involved should be able to make an independent and informed decision (Raphael, 2013).

Types of rape

There are several types of rape that occur in our society. To begin with, there is anger rape. This is where the perpetrator uses rape as a weapon of humiliating the victim. This is mostly used as a revenge method where the rapist uses extreme force in order to degrade their victim. Secondly, there is power rape where rapists want to show their victims that they are capable of doing anything they want. To them, rape is an ultimate act of how powerful they really are (Sanday, 2007). Moreover, there is a type of rape where the rapist knows the victim. This is called date rape and usually occurs in social situations. It occurs between friends, family, and other acquaintances. This is the most common type of rape in many parts of the world. Similarly, there is another type of rape that most people do not consider as being rape. This is rape between two people who are married and is referred to as marital rape. This occurs when one partner is forced to have sexual actions without the consent of the other partner. Lastly, there can be more than one rapist raping a single victim (Sanday, 2007). This type of rape is referred to as gang rape.

Social and Cultural Causes of Rape

There are several factors that cause rape and they can be grouped into various categories social and cultural factors are one of the categories. The way society has socialized people highly contributes to rape. The societal belief that women should be submissive to men has been found to highly contribute to rape. On the same note, culture has made men believe that they should have sex to prove that they are in control of everything. Arguably, there is a belief that women usually say no even when they really mean yes. As a result, most men assume the denials of women against sex (Raphael, 2013). On the same note, the definition of rape in various territories and cultural backgrounds is different and sometimes lets the rapists off the hook leading to increased rape cases.

Psychological Factors behind Rape

To begin with, the causes of rape have been associated with psychological defects. It has been depicted that people who rape are either emotionally unstable or they are suffering from personality disorders. Furthermore, some rapists have also been known to be sexually addicted thus being unable to control their urge to have sex. On the other hand, rape causes some psychological effects on victims (Sanday, 2007). This includes emotional torture that sometimes leads to trauma. Additionally, raped victims lose their self-esteem, develop a sense of helplessness and eventually find it difficult to have relationships.

How to Prevent Rape

Though rape has been a cause of concern for a very long time now, preventing it is still a problem. Laws have been implemented against rape to help in the reduction of rape cases but still more needs to be done. To avoid date rapes, it is advisable to stop trusting people too much and ensure all meetings are conducted in open places. Similarly, people should learn to accept when rape takes place whether it involves our friends or family (Raphael, 2013). Additionally, members of society are advised to be very careful when they go out or at parties and reduce the amount of alcohol taken. Moreover, it will be helpful for people to attend self-defense training so that they can be able to defend themselves in case of an attack. It has also been pointed out that dressing styles can attract rapists (Sanday, 2007). Consequently, it is advisable to take care of the dressing style especially when going to places one considers unsafe.

Conclusion

Various types of sexual assault are prevalent in our society. As a result, there is a need to ensure that effective measures are taken to prevent them. However, cooperation from every member of society is crucial if sexual assaults are to be prevented. Nevertheless, much as the accusing finger goes to the perpetrators of rape, the victims should also be trained on how to avoid falling prey.

References

Raphael, J. (2013). Rape is Rape: How Denial, Distortion, and Victim Blaming are Fueling a Hidden Acquaintance Rape Crisis. Chicago: Chicago Review Press.

Sanday, P. (2007). Fraternity Gang Rape: Sex, Brotherhood, and Privilege on Campus. New York: NYU Press.

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IvyPanda. "Sexual Assault: Definition, Types, Causes, Factors, and How to Prevent It." May 12, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/sexual-assault-definition-types-causes-factors-and-how-to-prevent-it/.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "Sexual Assault: Definition, Types, Causes, Factors, and How to Prevent It." May 12, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/sexual-assault-definition-types-causes-factors-and-how-to-prevent-it/.

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IvyPanda. (2022) 'Sexual Assault: Definition, Types, Causes, Factors, and How to Prevent It'. 12 May.

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