While reading newspaper if you ever come across this word ‘rape’ you become silent. You cannot speak about it because the victim becomes an alien to all of us. We don’t consider the trauma he/she may be going through and just say those few words either harsh or full of concern. Such posts make you angry, sad and sympathetic but have you ever thought about the victim? How would he/she survive? The news of rapes which we get are less in number than the reality because the rapes reported are much less. This happens because of our very own and caring society which thinks that rape makes an individual an alien on this planet. His/her life is destroyed entirely and no one will accept them.
The rapists rip apart the soul of the victim. They penetrate deep into their minds and hearts making them feel all the dark feelings. They do that intentionally so that the victim obeys them without questioning them. Rape is not only a physical abuse but also a mental abuse. The physical abuse might be healed by medicines but the mental abuse takes time. Most victims fear sleeping as they dream these things. Most victims fear being alone as it was the reason the rapist took advantage of! Victims also develop trust issues which are not easily healed. The setback on mind and heart is insanely hard to overcome. Sometimes even years of endurings cannot help the victim come back to normal.
Family support plays an important role in the healing process. If the victim’s family helps them, they heal faster and if not it takes time, a lot of time. Friends also play an important role. Having their friends and family on their side helps them feel secure and safe. They play an important part in helping the victim recover. The victim loses their identity if they are not healed mentally. They change, they might become depressive or aggressive. They might always be irritated. This happens because they lose self-confidence. These things change their emotional part of the brain. It gets irritated or depressive or aggressive as a result of a stimulus. Conditions vary as per the individuals and how their loved ones support and help them.
Why do rapes happen?
People have many opinions about it. Some say, short dresses and heavy makeup are an invitation while some say, women working at night is an invitation, etcetera etcetera, but this is not the truth. Women wearing full dresses get raped too, women wearing no makeup get raped too and women sitting at home get raped too. These are justifications given by people who consider that women are not made for living their own lives rather they should just obey their commands and do as they say! Though many less cases of men getting rape have been reported yet we cannot ignore this cruel act happening with men. The victims, in both the cases, go through the same trauma and depressions. However, men victims have said that they feel the urge to kill their rapists. They feel like they have lost their self-respect and self-esteem.
Rapes happen not because victims invite them but because they cannot have control on their nerves and minds. The rapists sometimes want to take revenge from the victim and sometimes it is what they do to satisfy their ego. Rapists also justify this act by saying that they were high on weed or other injurious substances. The justifications given by them is really stupid. They say they were too drunk to be in their senses. Sometimes the rapes are committed by a family member or by a close relative or by a close friend or even boyfriend or girlfriend but the justifications given by them are more senseless and stupid. There is no specific reason why do rape happen other than this that the rapist do this as an act to satisfy their ego and power. To tell the victim that they are superior to them.
What is rape?
Rape is an act of doing sexual intercourse without the consent of the victim. This is a simple line definition of rape which you can find on google. But it is not just that simple, rape is not only what happens with the victim’s body but also what happens with their soul, heart and mind. The physical pain gets cured by medicines but the mental pain and guilt is incurable. Though by counselling many individuals heal yet they have difficulty in trusting people. Depression and fear are experienced by all the victims.
Types of rapes
Rapes are of many types. Here are some of them which we usually encounter in our headlines.
Date rape- The rape done by a known individual who is not from the family background. Such kinds of rapes are done in the effect of love drugs.
Gang rape- Rape involving atleast three individuals. Their number can be more. Victim is attacked one by one by them.
Spousal rape- also known as marital rape. However many individuals do not consider that consent of the individual is important after marriage but it is important. This kind of rape causes more psychological abuse than the rape done by strangers as the victim loses trust which they have on their beloved.
Rape of children- Rape of a child is considered as child sexual abuse. When done by another child it is known as child-on-child sexual abuse. These can cause serious traumas on the child which affects him physically and mentally.
Payback rape- Many people have this culture of taking revenge from an individual by raping their daughter or sister or wife. Meaning the crimes committed by their brother or father has to be repaid and for that they rape their women.
The physical abuse faced by the victims are as follows-
- Vaginal or anal bleeding or infection
- Hypoactive sexual desire disorder
- Vaginitis or vaginal inflammation
- Dyspareunia – painful sexual intercourse
- Vaginismus – a condition affecting a woman’s ability to engage in any form of vaginal penetration
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Urinary tract infections
The victim not only suffers physical abuses but also psychological abuses.
The victims suffer a lot of psychological issues. Depression and anxiety are one of the major issues. You cannot actually understand the pain and endurings of a rape victim. They actually lose their own selves after the crime. The psychological endurings of individuals may vary.
The rape survivors have high levels of anxiety and phobia. The fear of their rapists raping them again is common, sometimes they also fear people from the gender of the victim. They cannot trust them easily. However, they can be treated by counselling yet sometimes the loss is irreplaceable meaning sometimes they cannot revive back to their normal self.
The most common emotional issue faced by the rape survivors is depression. They start hating themselves in many cases. Self-blame is common. They even think that they were the reason for this brutal crime.
The self-blame causes them to think about suicides and even attempting it. They try to punish themselves as they feel they are the ones to be blamed. They don’t enjoy even their day to day activities. The rape survivor needs a lot of emotional and mental support to overcome the horror happened with them.
Self-blame is among the most common issue endured by the rape survivors. They think they are the ones responsible for the crime. They also feel shameful and do not like to open-up to the world. They feel ashamed of themselves. In many cases, individuals stop interacting with the world.
They usually become ghosts. They even have suicidal instincts coming up on their minds.
Reporting a rape!
Informing the law authorities and opening up to them is the most difficult part for the rape survivors. This happens because of gender, age, minority status, caste, social outcomes and family status. The rape done by a family member or close relative or a known person is usually not reported because of the status of the family. Such victims experience the loss of trust which they have on their family members. This also adds to the psychological impact on the victim.
If the rapist is a stranger then also people don’t report it immediately and sometimes they never do so. They consider their respect more than their daughter’s/son’s life. They lack the courage to face the world and instead blame the victim for the crime. The individuals who report their cases tend to pave their way to their recovery. This also helps them come back to their normal life. They recover slowly and gain back their normal selves.
Recovering from a rape
The process differs from individual to individual but a lot of love and care is needed by the survivor. The confidence and trust lost by the survivor make things insanely difficult for them. The victims being blamed by their own loved ones is one such reason for the loss of faith. They usually recover by counselling and meditation. Many NGOs help them discover new things inside them. People talking to them politely and understanding what they feel helps them recover more oftenly than the lectures and sympathy.
Boosting their confidence may help them recover faster. Activities which help them discover new things and move on can be helpful. Taking them for a walk or spending an evening with them outside will help them see true love and friendship so that they can be normal again. Not discussing about their rape may also help unless and until they want to share this with you. Emotionally and physically they endure a lot of pain but some small steps may lessen them.
Things like gardening or feeding animals may help them come back to their normal world. Individuals may get irritated by you but don’t shout on them they actually are enduring a lot then you see. Irritation and anger is a common reaction by rape survivors. They try to show that they want to be alone but actually they need your love and support a lot. Don’t leave them alone. Some individuals may acquire the fear of darkness in them. They might fear the night and darkness. Always make them feel important and happy. This will help them realize their worth in your life. Supporting them for their choices and helping them to do what they want will make a great change.
Rapists need to be punished and not the victims. So, support them and love them. They need you a lot more than you understand. Don’t blame them for the crime. Don’t judge them. Don’t do their character assassination. It was never their mistake. Maybe your concern will boost their recovery. Maybe they will again start living like they did. Maybe they will be able to raise their voices loud. It depends on you, you can either save their soul or let them live with a dead heart!