Differences in Gender Violence Rape Based on Race Sexuality Gender and Class Term Paper

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Gender Violence (Rape) and on race, sexuality, gender, and class

The problem of gender violence in general has attracted a wide debate and concern in equal measure for a long time among many players, both active and armchair, in the campaign against the vice. This has been mainly due to its high prevalence which needs to be addresses urgently.Historically, the definition of violence was mainly confined to assault by people who were strangers and overlooked the close acquaintances and intimate people. However, this has widely changed to encompass more of what can be considered gender-based violence.

According to the United Nations Declaration on Violence Against Women, article 1 defines violence against women as "any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivations of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life." UNFPA, (1998).

In order to define the accurate parameters of the violence, the article two of the same declaration outlines what it recognizes as the generic forms of the violence against women as; battering, dowry related violence, Female genital mutilation (FGM), sexual abuse of small children, marital rape, non-spousal violence, sexual harassment, trafficking in women, exploitation related violence, intimidation at work place, forced prostitution or any form of violence committed or condoned by state.

Although there are cases where women do abuse fellow women, children and even men, the gender-based violence mainly emanates from men directed to women (Asencio, M., 1999).

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Of particular interest in light of this paper is the gender-based violence of rape, which is the act of forcing someone to commit to sexual intercourse against their free will (Word Net, 2011)

Consequences of rape

A. Emotional/Psychological (Trauma)

TOPIC: Term Paper on Differences in Gender Violence Rape Based on Race Sexuality Gender and Class Assignment

The resultant effects of rape are not as superficial as the physical scars they leave behind to heal. The more hurt is the ego of the victim, the torture they go though as persons is far much more than can be quantified medically or legally. The emotional effects manifest themselves in the following ways:

1. Fear, Anxiety, Trust issues; the victims will tend to be uncooperative, too afraid or bothersome with their requests for more information or assistance in almost all they do and undergo (Resick, P., 1984). They tend to be very choosy of whom and what to trust

2. Anger, Revenge; since the violence of rape is so intensely embedded into the victim, they more often that not develop the feeling of revenge which are considered maladaptive coping reactions to the cruelty meted upon them.

3. Low self-esteem, Eating disorders; the victims are bound to feel they lost self-identity at the scene of the crime, they may feel the crime was part of their destiny and give up looking of feeling good in any way. This despair may be accompanied by abnormal eating habits that hitherto were not displayed.

4. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; the rape survivors have been found to suffer persistent post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and is higher among them than any violence victims (UNFPA, 1998).

B. Physical.

These are the evident signs that can be seen by the public or the victim herself as the result of the heinous act of rape. They are the tangible scars of the crime that are carried for years or even forever in the life of the victim. They are manifested as:

1. Genital mutilation; this is a consequence more prevalent in the situations where rape is used as a weapon of war to suppress women and show despise to the men. It is being widely used in Congo DRC and even Sierra Leone during the civil wars (AFROL, 2011). The act of rape is accompanied by mutilation of the genitals using crude means and weapons to inflict pain apart from humiliation.

2. Pregnancy problems; these can be categorized into two main concerns

a. Unwanted pregnancy- the rape victims are likely to get impregnated and it is against their will to be pregnant of a stranger. They may end up considering options like abortion for fear of carrying the trauma the whole of their life.

b. Miscarriages-since the pregnant women are more vulnerable to sexual violence, it is likely that the pregnant women are caught in this situation. The violence involved in it is likely to cause miscarriages, low birth weight, premature labor or pre-eclampsia.

3. Injury/Health risks; there are several physical harms that rape victims are exposed to since their natural reaction would be to defend themselves, after which they may not control what harm could face them. There are as well cases of health risks that they go through as:-

a. STDs and HIV / AIDS -- the aggressors are unlikely to use any protection hence exposing the victim. There have been cases of gang rape where many men will rape a woman or even several women, this increases the chance of cross infection like was the case in Kenya on 2007 contested election results and the violence that followed accompanied by rape (Reid, T., et al. 2008)

b. Cuts, Bruises, Internal (organ) injury, Broken bones-these are mostly acquired when the victim is trying to flee from the aggressor, repulse the abuse or during the abuse to subdue her totally. Some cases have been reported of objects found in the victims' vagina and a major internal injury sustained, like the case in Meru region of Kenya in Africa (New Nation, 2011). Though the wounds may heal, the injury to the internal organs is longer lasting.

c. Permanent disabilities (including mental health- these are common cases where due to the violent nature of rape and the trauma that follows it, the victims may end up sustaining life threatening injuries and get bound to wheel chairs of even be psychologically perturbed if not counseled early enough.

4. Mortality; rape and the aftermath is life threatening and if the victims are not taken care of they may end up loosing or costing lives, and these may be manifest in:-

a. Homicide- most rape victims are predisposed to homicide or very serious injuries of they escape. These deaths are usually painful and are normally strangulation after the attackers have reaped them. Most of these cases were found in the 1970s where rape and murder was used by the white race to subjugate the coloreds.

b. Suicide -- the trauma of the rape is usually malignant and the victims keep losing their sense of esteem. They end up developing suicidal tendencies and need close supervision and counseling help to survive the ordeal.

c. Abortion- is another death occurrence that is prevalent in the rape cases. The victims tend to get rid of any slight stamp of presence of the attacker. Incase the rape ends up in a pregnancy, there is a very high likely that an abortion will follow.

C. Social.

It is worth noting that no two victims of rape will handle or react in the exact same way to the cruelty meted on them, and most of the reaction that they may develop will be dictated by how the society will respond to the victim some of which are:

1. Victim Blaming; is very common in the society today where it is argued that if she wasn't as such a place, or didn't do such a thing or worn in such a manner then the rape couldn't have taken place. The victim is victimized further, one of those incidences being the Texas Town gang rape. The neighbors ended up blaming the mother and the victim and not castigating the action itself, for instance "they said she dressed older than her age, wearing makeup and fashions more appropriate to a woman in her 20s. She would hang out with teenage boys at a playground, some said."(McKinley, J., 2011)

2. Frowned upon by society-these victims don't get fair treatment from the society s a whole. Even the legal system is seen to be partisan in dealing with rape victims basing the urgency and judgment on the race. This is a clear show that they look more into the race in the rape and not the rape on it own. Elizabeth Kennedy (2011), expounds on this to explain how the black woman is less likely to be treated fairly in a rape case, even to an extent that the race factor still comes to play way after the suspect has been found to have a case to answer. This is also the same fate that befell Recy Taylor where her case has not been conclusively handled since 1944 (Dothaneagle.com, 2011)

D. Other

1. Reduced entitlement to food, education, and medical care; in some cases the victim may be denied or deprived of the basic items ad amenities like food, education and even medical care. Most of these cases are due to misconstrued facts that blame the victim for the rape. The victims may also not get sufficient medical attention to the insufficiency of equipping of hospitals with rape medical… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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