Rape culture exists because we don’t believe it does. Rape or Sexual Assault is one topic that needs to be understood thoroughly. However, before understanding this problem it’s solution first and foremost we need to accept that the problem exists. Our eyes and ears need to be receptive. India may surely be seen as 95 in terms of rape rate in world statistics with the rate of 1.8 rape per 100,000 citizens. It comes in as number 3 in the number of incidents that too reported. Just after the USA and South Africa. Below is a bar chart for 10 countries.
- Number of rape incidents per 100,000 citizens in different countries. Figures do not take into account rape incidents that go unreported to the police.
What is Rape and sexual assault?
All rape and sexual assault are serious. The terms rape and ‘sexual assault’ are used simply to differentiate between two types of offence. So what’s the difference?
The overall definition of sexual or indecent assault is an act of physical, psychological and emotional violation in the form of a sexual act, inflicted on someone without their consent. It can involve forcing or manipulating someone to witness or participate in any sexual acts.
According to Metropolitan Police UK, rape is when a person intentionally penetrates another’s vagina, anus or mouth with a penis, without the other person’s consent. Assault by penetration is when a person penetrates another person’s vagina or anus with any part of the body other than a penis, or by using an object, without the person’s consent.
What is Consent?
Consent is, both people agreeing to what’s happening is by choice, and having the freedom and ability to make the choice. Consent separates sex, or a gesture of affection, from sexual assault.
Types of rape
There are some simple classifications given by various researchers, explaining a few:
Barbaree typology (Three Classifications)
1 According to Howard Barbaree, a psychologist at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, most rapes are impulsive and opportunistic. These are committed by people who may commit other impulsive acts, including impulsive crimes.
These rapists tend to show no anger except in response to their victim’s resistance and use little unnecessary force.
2 Then there are rapists who are preoccupied with a fixed sexual fantasy, which they try to act out in the rape, such as a fantasy in which they force a victim to have sex, and they then fall in love with them.
These are the least aggressive of rapists, and are the most likely to flee if the victim puts up a strong resistance.
3 Then there are vindictive rapists whose assaults are physically harmful and whose intent is clearly to degrade and humiliate the victim. Then there are rapists whose compelling motive is anger at the world at large.
These are likely to inflict the most physical damage on their victims. Then there are sexual sadists, who enjoy the victim’s fear.
Nicholas Groth has described three types of rape based on the goal of the rapists, namely:
- Power Rapist: For these rapists, rape becomes a way to compensate for their underlying feelings of inadequacy and feeds their issues of mastery, control, strength, authority and capability.
- Anger Rapist: This rapist aims to humiliate, debase, and hurt their victim, they express their contempt for their victim through physical violence and profane language.
- Sadist Rapist: For these rapists, there is a sexual association with various concepts, so that aggression and the infliction of pain are eroticized.
However, there are a plethora of classifications of rape in different categories like Date rape, Gang rape, Spousal rape, Rape of children, Statutory rape, Prison rape, Serial rape, Payback rape, War rape, Rape by deception, Corrective rape, Custodial rape and Perpetrator types. You can research theme here: Types of Rapes
The WHO states that the principal factors that lead to the perpetration of sexual violence against women, including rape, are
• beliefs in family honour and sexual purity;
• attitudes of male sexual entitlement;
• weak legal sanctions for sexual violence.
So, the major question arises here is: Why do men rape?
Multiple theories are published around rape and rape culture. Many of the are research-backed. However, two of them stand out in understanding, Why men rape. Namely, Biological Theory and Societal Socialization.
The biological theory says that every man has a tendency to rape. They genetically programmed to spread out sperm to continue their lineage. However, the contradiction is that, if it is true then the rate of rapes should be the same in every region of the world.
And that’s why we need to understand The Social Theory that makes an understanding that the rapists are having thoughts such as:
• Entitlement of men’s needs. Which includes sexual needs.
• Women are sex objects
• Men’s sexual drive is uncontrollable.
Hence, it must be considered that we can’t understand rapes by a single theory. Like the opportunistic rapists as explained by Barbaree are more in line with the Social Theory. However, the Sadist Rapist classified by Nicholas Groth fits in the category of Evolution or Biological Theory.
Below are some Theories of Rape I mentioned, so you can read and research for a thorough understanding.
- BIOLOGICAL THEORY: Randy Thornhill, The Biology of Human Rape
- COMMODIFICATION THEORY: Katharine K. Baker, Once a Rapist?
- DEVELOPMENTAL THEORY: From N.M. Malamuth & M.F. Heilmann, Evolutionary Psychology and Sexual Aggression
- RAPE AS A GENDER-BASED HATE CRIME: Goldscheid, Julie, Gender-Motivated Violence: Developing a Meaningful Paradigm for Civil Rights Enforcement
- CONTROL THEORY: Stephen R. Gold’s Sex, Power, Conflict: Evolutionary and Feminist Perspectives
Kindly check out this link for better understanding of these theories. Theories of Rape
Myths of Rape?
- In the majority of people who commit rape know their victims and, in some cases, are relatives, friends or work colleagues. However, it is still widely perceived that in most cases of rape, the offender is a stranger. Around 90% of rapes are committed by known men, and often by someone who the survivor has previously trusted or even loved. People are raped in their homes, their workplaces and other settings where they previously felt safe.
- Remember, sex is about consent. Rape within marriage and relationships can also occur, it is called Marital Rape. If your partner or husband has forced you into having sex with them, this is rape. You can read more about it in The Non Existent Crime: Marital Rape
- If a person is unconscious or incapacitated by alcohol or drugs, they are unable to give their consent to sex. Having sex with a person who is incapacitated through alcohol or drugs is rape. No-one asks or deserves to be raped or sexually assaulted; 100% of the responsibility lies with the perpetrator.
- It’s no necessary that It’s only raping if someone is physically forced into sex and has the injuries to show for it.
- If two people have had sex with each other before, that doesn’t mean it’s always OK to have sex again.
There are a lot of myths in the society regarding rapes, Kindly check this link out for clear understanding. Myths vs Reality: Sexual Violence
Who’s to Blame?
What are the solutions to end Rape?
I would like to give a solution of Rape from Word NORAPE itself:
• We need to work on our social norms. Strengthen women in society.
• Sensitize the social elements by addressing issues such as oppression, patriarchy etc.
• Societal changes and efforts from every section of society are strongly needed.
• Norms need to be challenged from the school level to make a strong and safe upcoming generation
• Economic support for victim and families may help the ease of pain. However, we need to work on strengthening women economically.
• Opportunities for girls needs to be enhanced in each sector
• An opportunity not just to strengthen the vulnerable, but also the factors affecting it. Police, Road Safety and Cultural Barricades.
• People need to be sensitized that reporting doesn’t mean just reporting the incident. We need to start reporting, addressing the issue in the public.
• If someone gets sexually assaulted, raped. The mechanism of the report should be so breeze, comforting and solid that the victim should not hesitate for a second.
• Improving approachability of reporting methods, their ease and use of technology
More strong and efficient action needs to be taken in terms of:
• Improving safety and monitoring in schools
• Establishing and consistently applying workplace policies
• Addressing community-level risks through environmental approaches
• Use of technology for fast pace implementation of policies.
Policing is one factor that can make a drastic difference by implementing various strategies, such as:
• Employing more policemen to reduce the burden and increase the efficient patrolling.
• Making a detailed analysis of rape. Like areas where rapes are most prevalent and where women feel safer. Learn from both, make and adapt policies accordingly.
• Easier access to police stations for reporting and FIRs.
• Measures like community policing, online forums etc will produce a strong statement.
• Frequent Society interaction and small nukkad nataks from the side of the law can produce such a difference that can’t be imagined.
• Working on Social-emotional learning
• Teaching healthy, safe dating and intimate relationship skills to adolescents
• Promoting healthy sexuality and compulsory sexual education
• Empowerment-based training for creating more leadership equality and to curb problems like a glass ceiling.
Rape Statistics India (Source: data.gov.in)
|States/UTs||Rape – 2015||Rape – 2016|
|Jammu & Kashmir||296||256|
|A & N Islands||36||30|
|Daman & Diu||5||12|
Why Do Men Rape? An Evolutionary Psychological Perspective By William F. McKibbin, Todd K. Shackelford, Aaron T. Goetz, and Valerie G. Starratt, Florida Atlantic University