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The Ugly Truth About Rape

Straight Talk
By Nimfa Estrellado

Don’t be confused with rape and having sex, they are not the same. Rape is a crime and something that you do not want to experience. The violent and serious crime of rape does not discriminate against its victims, as the act affects all ages, races, social classes, as well as both males and females. Rape can take place at any location and at any time regardless if it is prom night or a quick trip to the grocery store – you never know when an attacker is lurking for the most opportune moments to strike. Victims range from the naïve college freshman to the soccer mom of three to an elderly woman taking a walk in the park.

Most often, victims actually know their attackers, as relatives, neighbors, best friends, and even significant others are capable of committing the crime of rape. Additionally, it is important to know that despite the presence of alcohol, drugs, or a last-minute change of the mind – vaginal, oral, or anal intercourse without consent is still considered rape. In the end, this physical and emotional crime often feeds off of the possession of power over another.

The United Nations reports that up to three million women are murdered on average every year, most of which are preceded by rape or sexual assault. Approximately 100 million women going missing in different parts of the world every year, few of whom are ever heard of again unless their remains are found. It is presumed by law enforcement that most of these women were raped and murdered.

In some countries, but not all, there is public pressure to investigate these disappearances and murders and there are increased efforts to do this. Investigations, however, are after-the-fact. More important, of course, is devising ways in which these rapes and murders can be prevented. It is not just important, it is vital for women of all ages to learn strategies and tactics that will enable them to reduce their risk of becoming a victim of sexual predators. Women are often told to avoid dangerous areas for their safety and wellbeing but sexual predators are not confined to “dangerous areas”; they can be present on the street, at parties, in remote areas and even in the home.

The first priority for every woman is to learn to become more aware of their surroundings at all times. This ranges from developing and using their peripheral vision, to understanding their surroundings, to recognizing potential danger, to not allowing themselves to become distracted, to developing street smarts. For example, walking after dark almost anywhere listening to a mobile audio device can make a woman a target for predators on the prowl for victims. In fact, if women distract themselves in this manner, they can be attacked or abducted in broad daylight in areas of sparse foot traffic. Learning how to react to strangers, even something as innocuous as someone asking for the time, could be the set-up for an assault. Not covering windows in the home after dark or even answering the door could have dire consequences. Some women carry self-defense devices, i.e., pepper spray, electro-shock device, or even a handgun where it is legal, however.

There are many strategies and tactics a woman can learn and employ to reduce her risk and it incumbent upon her to learn of these things. Furthermore, a basic knowledge of a practical method of self-defense can be invaluable. It must be simple, direct, uncomplicated, potentially lethal and can be learned in a short time. If a woman arms herself with this knowledge she should be able to live her life in safety and without fear.


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