Acquaintance Rape

ollowing is a letter written by an 18-year-old col­lege student who had been raped by an acquain­tance. It is written to the man who raped her. Notice the lack of trust and vulnerability she expresses.

Once I called you a friend. Not anymore. Once I trusted you. You broke that trust by using it to get what you wanted. You are a thief. You stole something of mine. Something that had been very special to me. So special, that it was something I had reserved only for someone I loved. I will never forget that night. I will never forget how I said "NO" and you didn’t listen, didn’t care, and didn’t stop. I will never forget the fact that you raped me. When you took my body, you took every ounce of trust I had in me too. Because of what you did, I’m distrustful and suspicious of every male’s intentions. Imagine being so frightened that when you catch

someone simply looking at you, the hair on the back of your neck stands up and you wonder, what does he want? Imagine freaking out if a guy accidentally touches you. Imagine being afraid to let a guy hold your hand or put his arm around you for fear he’ll want more. Imagine always thinking that if he wants it, he’ll TAKE it.

You’ve made me feel so violated, isolated, sad, and angry. More scared than anything though. Every man I meet will pay for what you did. I pay for what you did. Sometimes I wonder "why me?" It doesn’t seem fair. Fifteen minutes of self-gratification for you, but God only knows how many months of pain, suffering and fear I have already had to, and will have to, endure.

Source: Author’s files.

Подпись:Подпись:Changes in sexual behaviors and sexual difficulties can persist for a considerable pe­riod after the rape (Campbell, Sefl, & Ahrens, 2004). It can take weeks, months, or even years to work through sexual difficulties such as fear of sex, desire and arousal disorders, and specific problems with sexual behaviors such as sexual intercourse, genital fondling, and oral sex. Counseling can be helpful for women suffering from postrape sexual difficulties. It is not uncommon for a woman to seek help for a sexual problem, such as anorgasmia (lack of orgasm) and, during the course of therapy, reveal an experience with rape that she had never discussed.

Acquaintance RapeQuestion: Do women who are raped eventually have a normal sex life?

Although it may take anywhere from a few days to months, most rape victims report that their sex lives get back to what is normal for them. However, research indicates that lesbian women may have more difficulties with sexual problems postrape. Counseling, a sup­portive partner, and emotional support are extremely helpful.