Monday, April 7, 2014
RAPE - SHARDS OF BROKEN GLASS
The word rape is gotten from the Latin word “rapere” which means To Seize. It is defined by many professors of the English Language as: The forcing of someone into sex. This definition has been modified over the years and many have argued that it is more than an attempt to achieve sexual fulfillment (although this may be the case in a lot of instances) but an aggressive desire to dominate a victim. It is largely considered as an act of violence rather than a sexual encounter.
HISTORY OF RAPE
In early societies, men obtained wives through the practice of bride capture (This is still in practice in some societies today). In this custom, a man would kidnap a woman and force her to have sex, and then he would marry her. A similar scenario is shown in the book of Genesis where Shechem raped Dinar the daughter of Jacob and sought to marry her (Gen 34). In these societies, what we would now call rape was socially acceptable, especially in times of war and was sometimes celebrated as heroic. For example, Romulus, the legendary founder of Rome, is credited with populating that city by capturing the women from a neighboring group of people known as the Sabines.
Some ancient societies considered rape a punishable offense. But, many of these societies punished the woman raped, as well as the rapist. For instance, under the ancient Babylonian Code of Hammurabi, a married woman who was raped was said to have committed adultery. The Hammurabi prescribed that the woman and her rapist be bounded and thrown in a river. The option was left to her husband to either rescue her or allow her to drown. Similarly, ancient Hebrew law required that a married woman be stoned to death if she was raped.
Many ancient societies and even present day societies considered women as a form of property and rape was defined as an offense against the property owner—the woman’s father or husband—not against the woman herself. For example, the book of Deuteronomy, which delineates ancient Hebrew law, provides that if an unmarried virgin is raped the offender must pay the woman’s father 50 shekels and then marry her.
TYPES OF RAPE (The legal Angle)
As attitudes about sexuality and gender equality continue to change, legal reformers struggle to redefine what behaviors constitute rape. However, as a result of changing societal perceptions, laws now prohibit several different types of rape (But this article is not about various law classifications of rape so I would not dwell so much on its details)
Sexual intercourse carried out against a person’s will by the use or threat of physical force is sometimes referred to as forcible rape. Historically, a person could only be charged with rape if force was used to subdue the victim.
B. Acquaintance Rape/Date Rape
When a person rapes a person he or she knows, it is called either acquaintance rape or date rape. The two people may be friends, former lovers, or presently dating. Studies indicate that a woman is more likely to be raped by an acquaintance than by a stranger or a relative. An acquaintance may commit forcible rape. However, the term acquaintance rape is usually applied when the sexual intercourse is nonconsensual but does not involve the physical coercion typically associated with forcible rape, such as assault or threats of violence.
C. Marital Rape
Rape of a person’s spouse is called marital rape or spousal rape. The English common law and traditional U.S. and Canadian law did not recognize rape within a marriage as a crime; also many African societies do not consider this as rape. As recently as the 1960s the American Law Institute recommended retaining the historical legal doctrine that a man cannot rape his wife. The organization based this recommendation on the theory that it was inappropriate for the law to invade marital privacy. However, as a result of changing attitudes about domestic violence, many states in the US abandoned this doctrine and began to allow prosecutions for marital rape, especially if it is committed by force. In Canada, spouses may be convicted of criminal sexual assault.
D. Statutory Rape
Sexual intercourse with a person who has not reached the age of consent is known as statutory rape. The age of consent for sexual intercourse varies from country to country, but is usually 18 in most countries. This covers sexual intercourse with someone who is drugged or asleep, or who is mentally retarded or under the influence of alcohol.
E. Rape of Men
Traditional rape laws were gender specific, providing that only women could be victims of rape and only men could be rapists. In recent years, countries have rewritten their rape laws to be gender neutral. It is thus possible, although unlikely, for a woman to be charged with raping a man. In Canada, statutes prohibiting sexual assault apply to both male and female perpetrators and victims. But, sadly this is not the case in Nigeria and many African countries
Homosexual rape, when it is not covered by a country’s general rape statute, may be covered by statutes that prohibit anal or oral sex between members of the same sex, a type of sodomy. Although some statutes do not distinguish between forcible and consensual acts, forcible sodomy is generally subject to more severe punishments. Homosexual rape is a notorious problem in prisons. However, in society as a whole, rape of men—whether by women or other men—is not a highly visible issue.
The Philosophical approach
Rape raises a whole range of philosophical questions from the epistemological to the ethical, the ontological to the metaphysical. A philosophical examination of rape requires an exploration of memory, truth and meaning, of subjective interpretation and objective fact; of free will, choice, consent and volition versus determinism and natural selection; of identity, the self and the other; and of good and evil, morality and society. For us to truly understand what rape really is we have to look at it from a perspective beyond that of the rapist and the raped, which our legal system has effectively done justice to .
All or most definitions agree that for rape to occur there must be the absence of consent. But, this in itself creates further problems. For consent can be coerced directly or indirectly by threat, force, blackmail or even seduction (Now that is a debate for another day). If you say that rape occurs only when a lady “says no” and you still have sex with her, what if you point a gun on her baby and she “says yes”, she may even gladly undress herself and sex you till you say stop. Will you say it is not rape? Or if you argue that there must be forced penetration, what exactly do you mean by forced? Is it the violence involved? Or the compelling factor? Rape may occur with no violence at all and with 100% consent/approval. So what exactly is rape?
Rape is the violation of human will. When the will of one is coerced to favor the will of another, that is rape. When a person is made to do what he/she doesn’t want to do, that person has been raped. When a woman is made to perform sexual activity against her will, that woman has been raped. And whoever does this is a rapist. So to a mild extent, the seducer is a rapist.
The real crime here is not that her body was defiled, nope for sex doesn’t and never defile the body; but her mind was defiled and once the mind is defiled the whole being suffers. The negative energy that is released from her spirit during the fusion of intercourse or assault and amplified in her soul via her mind will at the long run affect both the rapist and the raped. This turns the creative energy of sex into a destructive one (see laws of sex). This in turn results in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Substance Abuse, Self-Harm/ Self-Injury ,Stockholm Syndrome, Depression, Flashbacks, Borderline Personality Disorder, Sleep Disorders, Eating Disorders, Body Memories, Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), Military Sexual Trauma, suicide and many more.
To The Raped
The first thing you need to do to heal is to forgive yourself for being raped. This is one of the most important areas mostly overlooked for there is always the tendency for you to blame yourself for the incident. Why did you trust him? Didn’t you know the spot was dangerous? Why did you wear such provocative dress? All these are quite normal. There always a time to blame yourself, in fact I suggest you do. But then after all the blame game, forgive yourself. For nothing can undo what happened, so the best you can do is forgive yourself and learn from it. What better way to start than by showing love to yourself, make your hair, go shopping, see a movie, play video games . Love and appreciate the person you see in the mirror. Even if it was your entire fault and you regret the mistake, understand that it’s okay to make mistakes.
The next thing you have to do is forgive the rapist. This is the hardest part of the healing process but it is the fastest way to heal. Forgiveness isn't always to benefit the person who did you wrong. Your hatred and bitterness means nothing to the person you don't forgive....it's like taking poison, and waiting for the other person to die. Forgiveness frees you emotionally and enables you to move on. So don’t just forgive and forget, forgive and move on with your life.
Finally, you need help. You need both medical and psychological help. Get medical care right away. The doctor or nurse will test you for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV/AIDS, and offer you emergency contraception to prevent pregnancy (if victim is female). If the doctor or nurse does not mention testing for STDs or emergency contraception, ask for them. Seeing a counsellor or a close friend or spiritual adviser will help you effectively overcome the trauma that you may face.
To The Rapist
You need help. Nobody was born a rapist. There was no woman in history that gave birth and called all her friends and said “Guess what? I gave birth to a rapist”. They became one. Rapists are victims of society. Many of them suffer psychosomatic and manic disorders. They are victims of child abuse, societal neglect, poor parenting, rape, and every ill the society has birthed in them.
You need to stop! Just stop where you are! Hold the breaks! Halt! Even if you are reading this, stop reading at this point…..no you can start reading…. go and seek help. There is no formula to transform a rapist into normal person, but there is always a hand willing to help someone that seeks it. Change comes to those who genuinely and sincerely want it. So seek medical help, seek mental help, seek spiritual help. It may be that your uncultured behavior is the result of childhood trauma, who knows, you may even have been a victim of rape yourself. For only hurting people hurt others. #saynotorape
To The Reader
Rape is a crime against humanity. It is a brutish way of engaging pleasure, it is a selfish engagement of men/women turned beasts, an unsavory cup of vinegar that bitters in tongue, tonsil and tummy. So join this campaign! Share it, tweet it! Text it! 1+ it! Pin it! But most important say it! Say no to rape!
By Prince Xavier