LESSON 4/TASK 1
laugh, cry, or shake while discussing the offense. They may also appear controlled and calm, hiding
their inner feelings.
Physical shock, exhaustion, or even strict self-discipline may cause a victim to seem calm and
composed. But fear is always present. Fear may last for hours or for months, depending on the victim
and the ordeal she has experienced. The victim may have been threatened or come close to death. A
victim may fear that the rapist knows her name and address and may harm her in the future.
A rape occurs in the United States about every seven minutes. In 1985, there were 87,340 rapes
reported. In the Army, a rape occurs about once every 20.6 hours; essentially once a day. At least
there are that many reported. These figures take on even greater significance when it is realized that it
is estimated that only about 45% of rapes are reported. Rapes are often not reported for many
reasons. These reasons include embarrassment, fear, and lack of confidence in the police and judicial
study showed that only about 5% of rapes were prosecuted, with only about 2% of those resulting in
convictions. There are also many cultural and historical myths surrounding rape that cause victims to
hesitate to report them.
A victim who reports a rape to the police may be exposed to police skepticism, tactlessness, or other
inappropriate conduct. Medical care may be inadequate, insensitive, and delayed. The need to
repeatedly describe the attack to police and investigators, doctors, prosecutors, judges, all of whom
may well be men, is emotionally very trying. Throughout the process, to include the courtroom, the
victim may find herself a victim all over again. She is subject to attacks on her character, chastity, and
life style. This has been described as being raped once again. All of this is often subject to unwanted
Few criminal offenses have more unfortunate myths and stereotypes associated with them than does
rape. Many of these myths stem from cultural and traditional factors. That does not excuse them, nor
does it lessen the emotional damage they can cause. As previously noted, many rapes go unreported.
A part of the reason for them going unreported is because of these myths and stereotypes. A great