RAPE VICTIMS

Loving God, I know that you hold me in the palm of your hand.
I know it is so.
But why, O Lord, why?
I rage at this sin against me, at this defilement of my body,
this assault on my peace of mind.

I mourn my lost serenity, security, confidence;
I mourn the loss of my ease and open nature.
I hate what this assault has done to me.
I feel that my body and soul may never be the same.
What has been forced upon me may not be forgotten.
But send your healing upon me like cool rain.
Soothe my spirit with the balm of your tender love.
Help me to feel secure again, as safe as ever within the shelter
of the Lord.

Let my anger not turn inward to self-loathing,
but outward for action and purpose: to help others like me,
to bring hope to those whose faith is not so strong.
Help me, with your grace,
to move beyond victim, to call myself survivor instead.

May you forgive this man’s offence against me,
and grant me the peace and serenity
of a mind and body made whole again.
Amen.

- Julia Park Rodrigues

​GENERAL Satistics:

Younger People Are at the Highest Risk of Sexual Violence:

  • Ages 12-34 are the highest risk years for rape and sexual assault.

  • Those age 65 and older are 92% less likely than 12-24 year olds to be a victim of rape or sexual assault, and 83% less likely than 25-49 year olds.

Youth & Families:

  • 1 in 9 girls and 1 in 53 boys under the age of 18 experience sexual abuse or assault

  • Among cases of sexual abuses reported to law enforcement, 93% knew their perpetrator

STUDENTS:

  It is reported that a majority of college students don’t report their sexual assaults at the time, however through prevention education we can be an encouraging voice that can prevent crime before it happens and provide support to those who have experienced it.

Women and Girls Experience Sexual Violence at High Rates:

Millions of women in the United States have experienced rape.

  • As of 1998, an estimated 17.7 million American women had been victims of attempted or completed rape. 

Young women are especially at risk.

  • 82% of all juvenile victims are female. 90% of adult rape victims are female.

  • Females ages 16-19 are 4 times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault.

  • Women ages 18-24 who are college students are 3 times more likely than women in general to experience sexual violence. Females of the same age who are not enrolled in college are 4 times more likely.

Men and Boys Are Also Affected by Sexual Violence:

Millions of men in the United States have been victims of rape.

  • As of 1998, 2.78 million men in the U.S. had been victims of attempted or completed rape.

  • About 3% of American men—or 1 in 33—have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime.

  • 1 out of every 10 rape victims are male.

LGBT:

MINORITY:

Prevalence rates of rape of women by race in the United States:

  • Asian/Pacific Islander: 6.8%

  • Hispanic/Latina: 11.9%

  • White:17.7%

  • Black: 18.8%

  • American Indian/Alaska Native: 34.1%

  • Mixed Race: 24.4%

American Indian Community:

  • American Indians ages 12 and older experience 5,900 sexual assaults per year – this is an average based on reported incidents

    • They are twice as likely to experience a rape/sexual assault compared to all races

    • 41% of sexual assaults are committed by a stranger; 34% by an acquaintance; and 25% by an intimate or family member

Sexual Violence in Asian and Pacific Islander Communities:

  • Of Asian and Pacific Islander women –

    • 23% experienced some form of contact sexual violence

    • 10% experienced completed or attempted rape

    • 21% had non-contact unwanted sexual experiences during their lifetime

  • Of Asian and Pacific Islander men-

    • 9% experienced some form of contact sexual violence

    • 9% had non-contact unwanted sexual experiences during their lifetime

Black Women: 

  • 35% of Black women experienced some form of contact sexual violence during their lifetime

  • 40-60% of Black women report being subjected to coercive sexual contact by age 18

  • 40% of confirmed sex trafficking survivors in the U.S. are Black

  • African American girls and women 12 years and older experienced higher rates of rape and sexual assault than White, Asian, and Latina girls and women from 2005-2010

Unhealthy Behaviors 

Rape survivors often engage in risky sexual behaviors such as not using protection or having a greater number of sexual partners.4 In addition, in an attempt to cope with the intense unpleasant emotions that come from being raped, many people will develop substance use problems or other unhealthy behaviors (such as self-injury). They may go to great lengths to avoid situations that feel potentially dangerous and may shy away from television shows, newspaper articles, or conversations that discuss sexual assault.

Treating Psychological and Behavior Problems 

For many rape survivors, these symptoms will subside over time. However, for some, these symptoms may linger and even get worse. Fortunately, there are treatments available that have been found to be very successful in lessening the number of negative symptoms that can develop after a rape. Two such treatments are exposure therapy and cognitive-processing therapy. You can find a therapist in your area who provides these treatments. In addition, social support and learning how to manage emotions in a healthy way can be very helpful.


 

Overview of Florida Rape Laws

Florida state laws currently include rape under the offense of "sexual battery." The relevant statutes no longer give a separate legal definition for rape.

To prove a rape offense, a prosecutor must establish each of the elements for sexual battery given by state law. As required by the Florida statute on sexual battery, the prosecutor must show that the defendant engaged in oral, vaginal, or anal penetration of the victim with a sexual organ or another object. Alternatively, the prosecutor must prove a union by the defendant's sexual organ with the victim's mouth, vagina, or anus.

If the rape victim is under the age of twelve, the prosecutor does not have to show the victim's lack of consent; the victim's young age presumes the lack of consent. If the rape victim is over the age of twelve, the prosecutor must show that the victim did not consent voluntarily. Under Florida state laws, the prosecutor needs to show a lack of consent, but does not need to show resistance or protest.

Statute

Florida Statutes Sections 794.005-794.09 (Rape)

 

Penalties

 

The punishment for rape comes from the Florida crime laws regarding sexual battery. The potential punishment depends on the following:

  • The ages of the victim and the defendant

  • The use of any weapons

  • The personal injury suffered by the victim.

  • The rape victim is under the age of twelve and the defendant is over the age of eighteen (captial felony,punishable by death penalty or life imprisonment without parole); If defendant was under age of eighteen (life felony, punishable by imprisonment for at least 30 years or life imprisonment)

  • The minimum charge for sexual battery committed on a victim over the age of twelve (second degree felony, punishable by imprisonment up to 15 years)

  • If the prosecutor can establish one of the circumstances established by Florida law, the state can increase the charge to a first degree felony, which can result in a sentence for a term of imprisonment lasting up to 30 years.

  • These circumstances include: the defendant's threats or coercive acts, the victim's physical incapacity, or the victim's physical inability to resist the sexual battery.

  • If the defendant used a deadly weapon or physical force likely to cause a serious bodily injury to a victim over the age of twelve during a sexual battery, the offense becomes punishable as a life felony.

Possible Defenses

Voluntary consent given by the victim.

Note: Florida state laws prevent the use of certain defenses in a case for sexual battery. Specifically, the defendant cannot use the victim's "unchastity" or discuss the victim's prior sexual conduct. In cases where the victim's age affects the criminal charges, mistake or lack of knowledge regarding the victim's age cannot serve as a rape defense.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Links & References:

© 2017 by Dominique Giselle. The Flourished Company ,LLC