Domestic Violence Day 16: RAPE

For October’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I am continuing a series on the various abuses. Now, I will proceed with the next abuse:  Rape

The terms rape or sexual abuse or sexual assault vary depending on each state. The definitions also vary with each state with different words used to mean the same thing. So, each state can have a different legal definition. A general definition used by the U.S. Justice Department is:

“Rape is a type of forced sexual assault. It usually involves sexual intercourse which is initiated by one or more persons against another person… without the victim’s consent. It may include vaginal, anal, or oral penetration. Penetration may be by a body part or an object.  The sexual act may be carried out by threats,  physical force,  abuse of authority, or against a person who is incapable of giving consent, such as a child or below the legal age of consent, or someone unconscious or incapacitated.” Unfortunately, anyone can be a victim of rape… women, men, or children.

“Sexual assault is unwanted sexual contact that stops short of rape or attempted rape. This includes sexual touching and fondling. (But, be aware: Some states use this term interchangeably with rape.”

A major consideration is determining  whether or not a sex act that occurred was consensual or a crime.

“There are three main considerations in judging whether or not a sexual act is consensual or is a crime.

  1. Are the participants old enough to consent? Each state sets an “age of consent,” which is the minimum age someone must be to have sex. People below this age are considered children and cannot legally agree to have sex. In other words, even if the child or teenager says yes, the law says no.
  2. Do both people have the capacity to consent? States also define who has the mental and legal capacity to consent. Those with diminished capacity — for example, some people with disabilities, some elderly people and people who have been drugged or are unconscious — may not have the legal ability to agree to have sex.
  3. Did both participants agree to take part? Did someone use physical force to make you have sexual contact with him/her? Has someone threatened you to make you have intercourse with them? If so, it is rape.”

Remember… NO means NO and NO also means STOP!

“It doesn’t matter if you think your partner means yes, or if you’ve already started having sex — “No” also means “Stop.” If you proceed despite your partner’s expressed instruction to stop, you have not only violated basic codes of morality and decency, You may have also committed a crime under the laws of your state.”

Information from:

http://www.rainn.org/get-information/types-of-sexual-assault/was-it-rape

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape

29 thoughts on “Domestic Violence Day 16: RAPE

  1. Hi .i have been doing a series of articles on domestic violence this month too. I helped to start a shelter in pa. In the 70’s. We can never speak out too much as long women and children are living in fear. Peace to you, barbara

    • Hi Barbara. That is awesome that you started a shelter. God told me to write a book about abuse to reach out to victims and put it in my heart build safe houses. This is all new to me but I walk in obedience. My book is supposed to be released this month with a plan for the majority of proceeds to go to ministries to help abuse victims and make safe houses… I pray for safe houses around the world for the many victims… Blessings to you my new friend!!

      • Not only did I help start it, I trained volunteers, I hired staff, and I began the legal unit. I wrote briefs and presented them in court. That was legal back then as I was “a friend” of the court. I served restraining orders and gave speeches and counseled women. And on and on. Counseled at Rape Crisis also. I lobbied in the state capital for women’s and children’s rights and marched and Picketed for decades. It is very important work. Good luck with your book. I hope it is published soon. In peace, Barbara

      • Wow!! Awesome credentials. I am praying for God to equip me for whatever He wants and orchestrate my path. His team is building as He leads. Many blessings to you Barbara!!

    • Thanks Aussa! I have a feeling that it happens even more than we realize. I believe that many, many go unreported because of the guilt and shame not only from the rapist but from society as well. Thanks for your support!

  2. Very good blog. It is important to remember rape is not about sex at all. Rape is all about power and control. That is why you will see 80year old women will be raped. Victim blaming is a problem dealing with courts and police Good luck, Barbara

    • Thank you Barbara. You are so right… it is all about power and control. Unfortunately, I feel the victim blaming gives them more power and control after the violence as society has turned to blaming the victim. I really appreciate your input. Blessings to you my friend!!

      • Back in the early eighties we got a law passed to make it illegal to bring up a victim’s past sexual history. In most states it is not being enforced now. This re-victimizes the victim. She is publically shamed and allegations about her clothing, location and past sexual partners. It is a huge piece of the puzzle. Hugs, Barbara

      • That is huge!! I knew that it was a huge problem with re-victimization of victims but I did not realize that these laws were not being enforced. I remember in the 80’s there was a big push for victims rights including marital rapes… guess why I remember that debate. I will be praying for laws to be changed to protect the victims… Thanks, Barbara!!

      • Hi Barbara, Thanks for letting me know about your earlier postings. I had not seen them but went back to read them. Great posts!! You are a strong voice for DV victims. May God bless you exceedingly and abundantly…

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