Welcome back! It must be Thursday and time to tackle our weekly discussion on rape and sexual assault. We're into week five (skipped Thankgiving!) and gaining readers with each addition to the series.
Just a quick recap for those new to the series. We are sharing a list of statements that come from a 1990 survey of high school kids. They were surveyed before and after taking a Rape Awareness Program. Like the kids back then, we're taking a poll on each statement and comparing our responses with those from the 1990's. We're also discussing our responses in the comments and using the opportunity to expand our own knowledge, shine a light on our own pre-conceptions, and to discover new ways to discuss rape and sexual assault both within the progressive community and outside among family and friends.
I have been publishing on Thursday mornings and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. There are twenty-four statements in total and we're polling number six! A recap of statement number five can be found below the fold.
Statement #6: An unwilling victim could prevent rape if she or he wanted to.
Statement #5: True or False: Most rapists choose someone they know as a victim.
This statement is true.
The 1990 survey found that before taking a rape awareness class 44.3% of the students answered correctly. After the class, 74.1% answered correctly. That's a huge change compared to many of the other questions we've looked at.
Without taking a class but having 20 years of experience more, Kossacks answered correctly 91% of the time. We had only 6% voting false and only 2% voting Shades of Gray. This was also our lowest polling numbers with only 95 participating. If you would like to see more votes, please consider recommending the diary so it will see more eyes.
Something compelling has happened in 20 years for the numbers to jump so drastically. In fact, I would say something compelling happened in that Rape Awareness Class for about 30% of the students to change their answers. Since I wasn't sitting in those classes, I can only take an educated guess at what was exactly taught. But my guess it was a simple lesson - the majority of rapists are not strangers that attack in dark alleys.
The Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) dedicates an entire page to this subject alone:
The Rapist isn't a Masked Stranger.
Approximately 2/3 of rapes were committed by someone known to the victim.
73% of sexual assaults were perpetrated by a non-stranger.
38% of rapists are a friend or acquaintance.
28% are an intimate.
7% are a relative.
U.S. Department of Justice. 2005 National Crime Victimization Study. 2005.
He's not Hiding in the BushesIn our last discussion on this topic, dougymi raised an interesting point and because of it, voted Shades of Gray:
More than 50% of all rape/sexual assault incidents were reported by victims to have occured within 1 mile of their home or at their home.
- 4 in 10 take place at the victim's home.
- 2 in 10 take place at the home of a friend, neighbor, or relative.
- 1 in 12 take place in a parking garage.
43% of rapes occur between 6:00pm and midnight.
24% occur between midnight and 6:00am.
The other 33% take place between 6:00am and 6:00pm.
U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Statistics. 1997 Sex Offenses and Offenders Study. 1997.
However, a lot of rapes worldwide occur in wartime situations and I'm fairly certain those victims are not known to the rapist, but are chosen because they are simply there and helpless in the face of an armed rapist. I have to think that over the years, that would be a substantial number, given the conflicts in Central Africa and elsewhere where rape was endemic.While we've been trying to stick with US statistics, I found the question compelling and decided to do a little research. And the best answer I found came from a response by Koosah:
Even in some of those situations, though, the rapists and victims knew each other pre-conflict. They were members of different tribes or groups, perhaps, but they actually lived in close proximity until conflict broke out. I'm thinking of Rwanda. Didn't the Hutus and Tutsi actually coexist until the conflict? And Serbia...those women often knew the men who raped them. They came from the same villages, but had different religions. The women could give names of their attackers to the investigators after the war.The truth seems to be hidden - the websites where rape and war are discussed don't mention how many of the rapists are known to the victims. It does not seem to be information that has been collected in the past. So we are left with suppositions. There is a broad description of War Rape and then explanations of how rape was used in different wars on Wikipedia if you would care to read more. This I do know - the statement above is true for the United States and should be suspect if applied to times of war.
Thanks for reading today's diary. I hope you leave a comment down below. And please don't forget to vote in today's poll!
Diaries in the Series: