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Recovering from Rape and Sexual Aggression

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Violence against women undermines their dignity and integrity. It is rooted in the unequal status of women in society. Although Article 7 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that all people are equal, in many regions of the world, women are still being discriminated against. Education could change this view on the place of women in society, but unfortunately, due to poverty, large groups of the population do not have access to education. This in turn leads to them having lower chances of finding jobs and the long-term consequence of this situation is poverty during adulthood. Without education or a job, women easily become dependent on others and are likely to become victims of psychological manipulation and violence. A solution to the issue of poverty could be the universal basic income. This way, each citizen would have the guarantee that they will survive and have access to shelter, food, and education, no matter what problems they have to battle during their lifetimes.

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Rape can happen in any country of the world and it is not always a consequence of poverty and lack of education. Scientific studies have concluded that rapists have certain basic characteristics. They are usually antisocial, narcissistic, lack empathy, and feel a general hostility against women. Rapists see women as sex objects. In their opinion, women exist only to fulfill their sexual needs. Psychologists have concluded that rape has to do with power, control, and domination, but it can also be fuelled by hatred against women.

Unfortunately, due to the fear of stigmatization, some of the victims are afraid to report the rape. The consequence of their fear is the fact that a rapist is still free and can rape again, making other victims. This attitude is also a consequence of the lack of education, and school should teach people since childhood what human rights are and what legal possibilities they have, in order to defend their dignity. Reporting rapes should be encouraged by the authorities, because this way the danger that the criminal poses to society will disappear, as soon as he is prosecuted.

recovering-from-rape-and-sexual-aggression

Sexual assault is a criminal offense and an inexcusable act of violence. Often the aggressor is a person the victim knows. Recovering from rape is a long and painful process. Besides the physical injuries, victims also suffer psychological consequences. Fear, shame, nightmares, flashbacks are some of those consequences. They no longer feel safe in places that used to be familiar, they become isolated, stop trusting people, question their self-worth or sanity. They are afraid of intimacy and struggle with anxiety, depression, and PTSD. All those symptoms are a normal reaction to trauma.

Although it may seem impossible for someone who went through this kind of violence, there are methods of overcoming the trauma generated by rape. Prosecuting the perpetrator is one of the ways to reduce anxiety. The knowledge that the aggressor no longer represents a threat to the victim will give her a sensation of safety.

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In order to recover, one should learn to reconnect to their own feelings and body. Because rape involves the body, one may feel uncomfortable being touched. Massage may help the person get used to touching and being touched and reopen to human contact. Meditation helps observe one's feelings and analyze them in a neutral way. This way people who went through the trauma of rape will better understand their feelings and fight the negative ideas that make them feel guilty or contaminated. Practicing yoga helps the victims relax and become aware of their bodies. It helps fight the symptoms of PTSD and trauma. Interacting with people will help stay connected with life and prevent isolation. Taking time to rest and getting plenty of sleep will make the body restore its energy. Exercise, a healthy diet, and especially avoiding the use of tobacco, alcohol, or drugs will reduce the anxiety symptoms, which normally occur after such a trauma.

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