It is estimated that about 1 in 7 rapes is reported (Resnick et al., 2005); the likelihood of reporting is increased if the assailant was a stranger, if there was violence, or if a weapon was involved (U. S. Department of Justice-Office of Justice Programs, 2002). This probably has to do with the fact that victims are clearer about intent under these conditions.

Gender differences in reporting are also common. Women are less likely to report a rape if it does not fit the stereotypical rape scenario, whereas men are less likely to re­port if it jeopardizes their masculine self-identity (Pino & Meier, 1999).Women who re­port their rapes to the police have been subsequently found to have a better adjustment and fewer emotional symptoms than those who do not report (L. Cohen & Roth, 1987).

It is also important for a victim to write out exactly what happened in as much de­tail as possible. When did the rape occur? Where was the victim? What time was it? Who was with the victim? What did the rapist look like? What was he or she wearing? Exactly what happened? Was alcohol involved? Was anyone else present? The victim should keep this for his or her own records, for if he or she decides to press charges it will come in handy. Over time memories fade, and the victim can lose the important small details.