Q) Why do people rape?
Many people think that rape and sexual abuse is about the rapist’s sexual desire. However, studies conducted with convicted rapists show that this isn’t the case. Research shows that men who sexually offend often do so to gain a sense of power and authority, while women sexually offend often to either maintain or establish an emotional relationship.
Q) Do people who have been raped by a stranger experience different effects to those who have been sexually assaulted by someone close to them?
Everybody reacts to rape or sexual abuse in their own way and in their own time. People who have been sexually assaulted by a stranger sometimes do have a different reaction from people who have been raped or sexually abused by somebody that they know.
Feelings like lack of trust and betrayal can be quite common if you’ve known the offender and you’ve had a relationship with him/her before. On the other hand, rape by a stranger can leave you feeling unsafe and vulnerable in your surroundings. Regardless of whether you have been abused by a stranger or somebody that you know, your reactions are unique.
Q) How do I tell someone I’ve been raped or sexually abused?
Telling someone that you have been raped or sexually abused can be tremendously hard. However, it is really important that you tell someone so you can get some support. Pick someone that you trust and feel comfortable with, tell him/her in a place where you feel safe and in c
ontrol. Only tell them as much as you want to. If the person you are narrating your story to reacts badly, it’s not your fault. Don’t be discouraged, be proud that you’ve got the strength to tell someone and keep talking to get it out of your system.
Q) Doesn’t it matter what the victim is wearing when the attack happened?
No. The victim was not the one who chose to commit a crime.
Q) What did I do to deserve this?
Nothing! There was nothing that you did, said or wore that would have made you responsible for another person’s behavior. We are only responsible for our own conscious actions, not for the actions of anyone else.
Q) Is it really possible to get pregnant from being raped?
Unfortunately, yes. Anytime there is sex, consensual or not, between a male and female, there is always the possibility of pregnancy. It is always wise to seek medical care as soon after a rape as possible.
Q) My friend was raped. What do I do?
Encourage medical and/or emotional help as soon as possible. Be supportive of your friend and realize that there may be ongoing problems associated with the aftermath of this crime. Read and educate yourself as much as you can. Explore resources in your community, online, and any other available areas for support.