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Quoted from "The Many Faces of Rape" by Dr. Robert

Posted by , 30 July 2005 · 11 views

The Myths of Rape"Rape may be one of the most misunderstood phenomena in history. Although it has happened often, the victims (the real experts on what rape is like), usually remained silent out of fear, embarrassment, or the desire to put it out of their minds. Non-victims, not knowing the true nature of rape, reasoned that sex was the important feature of the rape experience and, as a consequence, equated rape with prostitution, promiscuity, and other forms of illicit sex. The result was a set of beliefs which are by and large inaccurate and which discourage rape victims from revealing what happened to them. And so the ignorance persists.It's only fairly recently that people have set out to seriously study the subject. It turned out that the study of rape itself was relatively easy. By talking to rape victims, convicted rapists, police, and social workers who had counseled victims, researchers discovered a consistent pattern, but that pattern was often in direct contradiction to commonly held ideas. Re-educating the public has proven a much more difficult task than the original search for information.People's picture of rape is very resistant to change, partly because it was formed in such a subtle way. No one sits down and reads a book to learn about rape--they learn it bit by bit from comments made about rape victims, from TV plots, from all manner of offhand remarks. As a result, the knowledge obtained seems almost instincive; it's hard to realize that we didn't always know it. Changing these beliefs then becomes a little like Columbus' effort to convince people that the world was round. And just as sea captains benefitted from clearing out their ideas about the earth being flat, women who would like to defend themselves against rape are well advised to re-examine their beliefs about the crime".

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