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Sexual Harassment And Rape Essay, Research Paper

Sexual Harassment and Rape

Cheryl, sixteen, trainer for her high-school girl’s volleyball team and photographer for the school newspaper, arrived at the gym at about 9:00 Saturday for a volleyball tournament. She left her purse and equipment with friends while she went to the restroom. When the game started and she hadn’t returned to the team’s bench, her friends went to look for her. Her raped body was found behind some stage backdrops on the balcony of the school auditorium(Booher 12). Sexual harassment and rape are prevalent in all aspects of society.

Sexual harassment is unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature that makes someone feel uncomfortable or unwelcome by focusing attention on their gender (http://www.de.psu.edu/harassment/whatif/). There are many different forms of sexual harassment including sexual comments, jokes, gestures, looks, pictures, photos, illustrations, messages, and rumors. Other forms such as calling gay or lesbian, spy on people dressing, flash or moon, touch or grab sexually, pull at clothes, corner in sexual way, or force to do something sexual are also forms of sexual harassment(Parrot 2).

Statistics show that eighty-one percent of teens, ages thirteen to eighteen, have been sexually harassed in school alone. In school the number of teens who are sexually harassed are astounding. Eighty-five percent of female teen are sexually harassed in school, which is slightly higher then the seventy-six percent of male teens harassed(3). One in ever four girls,

and one in every seven boys, are sexually harassed on a daily basis(Cooney 18).

There are many myths about sexual harassment that causes people to stereotype potential

attackers. Eighty percent of the time the sexual abuser is someone known and trusted by the victim(13). In father-daughter and father-son sexual abuse, the natural father is most likely to be the abuser(14). The sexual abusive parent is usually considered a model citizen(16). The victim is never at fault in sexual abuse(15).

Rape is forced sexual intercourse against the will of the victim(Valle 58). There are five main types of rape, acquaintance, date, marital, soft, and gang rape(Parrot 18). Rape can happen to both males and females although in most cases the female is the victim(Cooney 39).

Acquaintance rape is forced intercourse, or other sexual act, that occurs between two people who know each other. This could be a date, teacher/student, friend of the family, employer/employee, husband/wife, doctor/patient, friend. Date rape is only one form of acquaintance rape(Parrot 18).

Date rape is forced sexual intercourse, or other sexual act, that occurs between a dating couple or while on a date(Parrot 18). Most date rapes are not reported because the victim feels in some way that it is their fault. They may think that because they were flirting heavily that they lead the rapist on and made them think that they wanted to have sex. Any type of forced intercourse is rape(Shuker-Haines 47).

Marital rape is forced sexual intercourse, or other sexual act, that occurs between husband and wife. Some states do not legally recognize this as rape. Even in states where marital rape is against the law it is impossible to obtain a conviction unless the couple are separated or divorced or unless some other form of violence such as assault and battery accompanies the rape(Parrot


Soft rape is forced sexual intercourse, or other sexual act, in which coercion, pressure or

intimidation, or threat of coercion is used to gain the victim’s compliance. Another definition is when one is forced into a sexual act by duress, verbal threats of harm, during intoxication, or using date rape drugs, basically, rape without physical force(http://www.crosswinds.net/~castlesintheair/boughtandsold/slinkyredthing.html). There is not a lot of information about soft rape because it is rarely reported.

Gang rape is forced sexual intercourse by more then on assailant. This is common in gang initiations where the new comer is rape by the entire gang. This is also common in prisons to establish ranks between inmates.

The effects on a victim of rape are extreme. Victims of rape are hurt by three things, the rape itself, their own doubts about what happened, and by the doubts of others about what happened(Shuker-Haines 13). Victims of rape my become severely depressed, overeat, anorexic, suicidal, or self-mutilating.

There are four major signs that a women gives when she is not will to have sex. The biggest mistake the guy makes is ignoring these signs. The first sign is when the girl pulls away. When she wants to go home with friends. When she says she does not want alcohol. Finally an most importantly when she says “NO” to sex(Shuker-Haines 36).

There are three warning signs to women to determine if the guy is capable of committing rape. If the guy does not listen to your likes or dislikes. Another is if he makes you nervous for fun. Finally if he gets mad when you disagree with him(37).

Victims of rape may do things that they are unaware they are doing that might increase their chances of being raped. First if you go along against your will because it is “easier”. If you

keep quiet when a guy makes you uncomfortable. At last you worry if you do not go along the guy will not like you(38).

There are many different places to go for help. Including family, friends, counselor, or trusted adult. There are also many organizations and services that can be of assistance to someone seeking help about sexual abuse or wish to report it. Local resources such as school personal, police officers, librarians, members of the clergy, medical personnel, rape crisis center staff members, crisis intervention centers, YMCA, or YWCA(Cooney 96).

The organization called RAINN, Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network, RAINN is provided as a service for survivors who cannot reach a rape crisis center through a local call, as well as those who might not know that a local center exists. Currently, the majority of the country is a toll call away from a rape crisis center. Many of these long distance callers are being abused by someone in their own household and thus cannot utilize a service that will appear on a phone bill. Since RAINN was founded in 1994, survivors nationwide finally have access to free, confidential counseling all day, every day(http://www.rainn.org/facts.html).

SOAR, Students Organized Against Rape, is an organization started by students at Rice University and the Houston Area Women’s Center, offers speakers to high schools on rape awareness and prevention(Miller 60). Students Organized Against Rape (SOAR) is a partnership of male and female NIU students committed to reducing the incidence of sexual assault through education. SOAR peer educators work together to educate the campus community regarding acquaintance rape prevention. Peer educators facilitate structured workshops that focus on dating, sexuality, communication, and the connection between these dynamics and sexual assault(http://www.stuaff.niu.edu/csdc/soar.htm).

The Rape Aggression Defense System(R.A.D.) is a program of realistic, self-defense tactics and techniques. The R.A.D. System is a comprehensive course for WOMEN that begins

with awareness, prevention, risk education and avoidance, while progressing on to basics of hands-on defense training. Courses are taught by certified R.A.D. instructors and is currently

taught at 350 colleges and universities nationwide. The growing, wide spread acceptance of this system is primarily due to the ease, simplicity and effectiveness of the tactics, solid research, legal defensibly and teaching methodology. The Rape Aggression Defense System is dedicated to teaching women defensive concepts and techniques against various types of assaults, by utilizing easy, effective and proven self-defense/martial arts tactics. The system of realistic defense provides women with the knowledge necessary to make an educated decision about resistance. The R.A.D. System is the only self-defense program ever endorsed by the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators(http://www.wpi.edu/~police/rad.html).

StART, or Students Against Rape Together, is an incorporated student group organized to create a rape-free environment they earned “Outstanding Student Organization of the Year” for the advances they made in promoting rape awareness and education on campus. For more information about StART or information on how you may become involved email: acronick@willamette.edu(http://www.willamette.edu/org/start/).

Woman Organized Against Rape (WOAR) was born in 1973 when a small group of women joined together to challenge police, hospitals and courts to treat survivors of sexual assault with dignity and compassion – and to confront the culture of violence against women that underlies the crime of rape. Today WOAR is a vita nonprofit organization whose staff and volunteers together provide comprehensive sexual assault counseling and advocacy services and community education and training. WOAR counseling services are provided free of charge and are available to women and girls and men and boys who experience sexual abuse and/or assault(http://www.woar.org/about_us.html).

Sad to say sexual harassment and rape are daily occurrences throughout the United States.

If you have read this entire research paper and are still confused and wondering, why do I need to know about rape and sexual harassment, here are four reasons. Girls must learn not to be

victims. Boys need to learn to respect girls and that “no” means “no.” We need to learn to help rape victims(Shuker-Haines 13).


Bender, David L. “Sexual Harassment” San Diego, CA 1992.

Booher, Dianna D. “Rape What Would You Do If ?” New York, NY 1981.

Cooney, Judith. “Coping with Sexual Abuse” New York, NY 1987.

Hyde, Margaret O. “Sexual Abuse Let’s Talk About It” Philadelphia, 1987.

Information on Sexual Harassment. Accessed 2001 Mar. 3

La Valle, John. “Everything You Need to Know When You Are the Male Survivor of Rape or Sexual Assault” New York, NY 1996.

Parrot, Andrea. “Coping with Date Rape and Acquaintance Rape” New York, NY 1995.

RAINN. Accessed 2001 Mar. 3

Rape Aggression Defense. Accessed 2001 Mar. 3

Sexual Assault Services. Accessed 2001 Mar. 3

Shuker-Haines, Frances. “Everything You Need To Know About Date Rape” New York, NY 1990.

Stark, Evan. “Everything You Need to Know About Sexual Abuse” New York, NY 1988.

Students Against Rape Together. Accessed 2001 Mar. 3

Women Organized Against Rape. Accessed 2001 Mar. 3

Yes I Wore a Slinky Red Thing. Accessed 2001 Mar. 3


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