Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network (RAINN)


800.656.HOPE and online.rainn.org


Greeting fellow readers and welcome – today’s hot topic - Rape, Abuse, and Incest under the umbrella of the Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network (RAINN) organization that has become the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization.

I would venture to say that rape, abuse and incest have been around since mankind has been on earth. Bold statement, but there seems to be good historical evidence to support that.  Regardless of gender, race, location, or religious background it has and continues to be an issue, generally accepted, in different periods of time. it is in fact, an act of violence and abuse on mankind as a whole.

Over thirty years ago, while stationed in the greater Norfolk, Virginia area, my wife was an active counselor for the local rape crisis hotline for several years.  We both learned a lot about these difficult sexual violence topics, many times after the fact.  In addition, she saw some of the ugliness as a nurse in one of the local hospital while working the graveyard shift.

While several organization have worked hard to raise the awareness of this topic over the past four plus decades, there has really been little headway made in reducing the numbers.  Here are some key numbers from RAINN.ORG:


·       44% of victims are under the age of 18;
·       80% are under age 30;
·       Every 2  minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted;
·       In 2007, there were 248,300 victims of sexual assault;
·       60% of sexual assaults are not reported to police;
·       15 of 16 rapists will never spend a day in jail;
·       Approximately 2/3 of assaults are committed by someone known to the victim; and
·       38% of rapists are a friend or acquaintance.

As parents, grandparents, siblings, citizens and Americans – what are we as individuals and communities doing to resolve these crimes?

Lets look a little deeper into these topics and read the summaries below.

Types of Sexual Assault [from www.rainn.org]

Unfortunately, sexual assault can come in many forms. In order to better understand the wide range of personal violence’s that can occur, we have included definitions of different types of rape and sexual assault, as well as other kinds of violence that often arise hand-in-hand with sexual assault. Click on the title below to read more about each type of sexual assault.

Was I Raped? [ http://www.rainn.org/get-information/types-of-sexual-assault/was-it-rape ]
How can you figure out if what happened was rape? There are a few questions to consider.
Sexual Assault [http://www.rainn.org/get-information/types-of-sexual-assault/sexual-assault ]
Be aware: Some states use this term interchangeably with rape. For a precise legal definition, check the laws in your state.
Rape [http://www.rainn.org/get-information/types-of-sexual-assault/definition-of-rape ]
Rape victims may be forced through threats or physical means. In about 8 out of 10 rapes, no weapon is used other than physical force. Anyone may be a victim of rape: women, men or children, straight or gay.
Acquaintance Rape [http://www.rainn.org/get-information/types-of-sexual-assault/acquaintance-rape ]
Acquaintance assault involves coercive sexual activities that occur against a person's will by means of force, violence, duress, or fear of bodily injury. These sexual activities are imposed upon them by someone they know.
Child Sexual Abuse [http://www.rainn.org/get-information/types-of-sexual-assault/child-sexual-abuse ]
Sexual assault of children often includes incest as a subset of this form of sexual assault. While there is a substantial amount of overlap in the two types of assault, for the purposes of this website we have separated them in recognition of the different needs that victims of each type of assault may have.
To provide you with a little more insight on the type and kind of information that is available on these issues, I’m including the next level of detail for your review.
Child Sexual Abuse
Introduction
Sexual assault of children often includes incest as a subset of this form of sexual assault. While there is a substantial amount of overlap in the two types of assault, for the purposes of this website we have separated them in recognition of the different needs that victims of each type of assault may have.
Contact Can Include:
·        Fondling
·        Obscene phone calls
·        Exhibitionism
·        Masturbation
·        Intercourse
·        Oral or anal sex
·        Prostitution
·        Pornography
·        Any other sexual conduct that is harmful to a child's mental, emotional, or physical welfare
Additional Features
·        May consist of a single incident or many acts over a long period of time.
·        Abuse is more often perpetrated by someone known to the child.
·        Abuse may escalate over time, particularly if the abuser is a family member.

Adult Reactions
Many adults tend to overlook, to minimize, to explain away, or to disbelieve allegations of abuse. This may be particularly true if the perpetrator is a family member.
NOTE: The absence of force or coercion does not diminish the abusive nature of the conduct, but, sadly, it may cause the child to feel responsible for what has occurred.
Warning Signs
Physical Signs
·        Difficulty walking or sitting
·        Bloody, torn, or stained underclothes
·        Bleeding, bruises, or swelling in genital area
·        Pain, itching, or burning in genital area
·        Frequent urinary or yeast infections
·        Sexually Transmitted Infections, especially if under 14 years old
·        Pregnancy, especially if under 14 years old

Behavioral Signs
·        Reports sexual abuse
·        Inappropriate sexual knowledge
·        Inappropriate sexual behavior
·        Nightmares or bed-wetting
·        Large weight changes/major changes in appetite
·        Suicide attempts or self-harming, especially in adolescents
·        Shrinks away or seems threatened by physical contact
·        Runs away
·        Overly protective and concerned for siblings, assumes a caretaker role
·        Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or Rape Trauma Syndrome symptoms

Common Reactions
·        Withdrawal
·        Depression
·        Sleeping & eating disorders
·        Self-mutilation
·        Phobias
·        Psychosomatic symptoms (stomachaches, headaches)
·        School problems (absences, drops in grades)
·        Poor hygiene/excessive bathing
·        Anxiety
·        Guilt
·        Regressive behaviors - thumb-sucking, etc.
What should I do if I suspect my child is being sexually abused?
Additional Resources

Child Abuse [http://www.rainn.org/get-information/types-of-sexual-assault/child-abuse]
Child abuse takes place when a child is harmed by someone else physically, psychologically, or by acts of neglect.
Dating and Domestic Violence [http://www.rainn.org/get-information/types-of-sexual-assault/dating-and-domestic-violence]
Dating and domestic violence occurs in all socio-economic, educational, racial, and age groups. The issues of power and control are at the heart of family violence.
Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault [http://www.rainn.org/get-information/types-of-sexual-assault/drug-facilitated-assault]
Drug facilitated sexual assault is the type of sexual assault in which drugs or alcohol are used to compromise an individual's ability to consent to sexual activity.
Hate Crimes [http://www.rainn.org/get-information/types-of-sexual-assault/hate-crimes]
A hate crime is the victimization of an individual based on that individual's race, religion, national origin, ethnic identification, gender, or sexual orientation.
Incest [http://www.rainn.org/get-information/types-of-sexual-assault/incest]
Incest is the type of sexual contact that occurs between persons who are so closely related that their marriage is illegal (e.g., parents and children, uncles/aunts and nieces/nephews, etc.).
Male Sexual Assault [http://www.rainn.org/get-information/types-of-sexual-assault/male-sexual-assault]
Men and boys are also the victims of the crimes of sexual assault, sexual abuse, and rape. In fact, in the U.S., over 10% of all victims are male.
Partner Rape [http://www.rainn.org/get-information/types-of-sexual-assault/partner-rape]
Partner rape includes sexual acts committed without a person's consent and/or against a person's will when the perpetrator is the individual's current partner (married or not), previous partner, or co-habitator.
Sexual Exploitation by Helping Professionals [http://www.rainn.org/get-information/types-of-sexual-assault/sexual-exploitation-by-helping-professional]
Sexual exploitation by helping professionals involves sexual contact of any kind between a helping professional — doctor, therapist, teacher, priest, professor, police officer, lawyer, etc. — and a client/patient.
Sexual Harassment [http://www.rainn.org/get-information/types-of-sexual-assault/sexual-harassment]
Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that affects an individual's work or school performance.
Stalking [no link]
The impact of stalking can be profound and life altering. Individuals who are stalked often change many of their behavior patterns and have strong emotional responses to the stalking.
Stranger Rape [http://www.rainn.org/get-information/types-of-sexual-assault/stranger-rape]
3 major categories include Blitz Sexual Assault, Contact Sexual Assault, and Home Invasion Sexual Assault.

In summary, we all need to be more diligent and proactive and help get the word out to folks, get help, donate, and get active in your community.  Contact your local RAINN-related office and see how you can be part of the solution.  Thank you.




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