Chapter 24 Violence Against WomenOn average, more than three women aremurdered by husbands or boyfriends everyday in the United States.
Understanding Violence Against Women• Violence against women is about power and coercive control exerted over another person in the context of a relationship, culture, social and institutional system• Every day images of male violence against women in the media make it appear that violence against women is an accepted fact of life• Due to the appearance that violence against women is acceptable; women may feel that they are at fault or should not complain about violent treatment• When the perpetrator uses violence against a woman through beatings, threats, and isolation; they are acting out a wish to punish, control, and exert dominance
Influence of Identity and Violence Against Women• Women of color, older women, young women, illegal immigrants, lesbians, refugees, poor women, women who are transsexual, are transgender, and women with disabilities are at greater risk for encountering violence• Violence against women and racism are greatly connected• Rape has been used as a means of dominating other races, a tool of cultural genocide in wars, and throughout history of slavery
Reactions to Experiencing Violence• Post traumatic stress disorder is a term used to describe the reexperiencing of trauma and the recollection of the event in images, thoughts, or perceptions.• Some common reactions to experiencing violence include: – Self blame, shame, guilt – Fear, terror, feeling unsafe – Anger and rage – Anger turned inward, depression, and suicidal thoughts – Substance abuse – Eating disorders – Physical symptoms – Self harm – Grief and loss – Powerlessness – Changes in sexuality and intimacy
Rape• Rape is one of the most common forms of sexual assault• Most state laws define rape as penetration with the use of force and without the person’s consent• Rape entails the penetration in the vagina, anus, or mouth with a body part or objects such as bottles• Rape can occur at any age, but girls and young women are at greater risk• Women are often blamed for rape (The media and even family and friends may look for what the woman did to encourage it)• Women may not realize that they have been sexually assaulted until sometime after the assault due to the fact that women are often blamed for assaults and the downplays of the actions of the perpetrators• Campus rape is the most common violent crime on campuses today• Many college administrations underreport sexual assaults in order to not harm the school’s reputation and finances• Grey rape is the term used to describe the “grey” area between consent and denial, and usually happens due to missed signals, hookups, casual sex, and alcohol• The term grey rape masks the reality and severity of nonconsensual sexual activity
Medical Considerations Regarding Rape• If a woman has been raped it is important for them to seek medical attention as soon as possible because they could bear crucial evidence on their bodies or clothes• Rape kits includes: – Collection of any hairs, blood, semen on the woman’s body – Photographs of any injuries, bruises, or scratches – DNA testing of the items in the kit can provide forensic evidence if the case goes to trial• A thorough rape examination includes: – A verbal history of the sexual assault – A pelvic or rectal exam – Checking for external injuries – Prevention of sexually transmitted diseases by means of an antibiotic injection – Prevention of pregnancy by means of “the morning after pill” – A follow up exam that includes STD and pregnancy tests and any treatment for STDs or pregnancy if indicated
Intimate Partner Violence• Intimate partner violence (domestic violence) and battering is the most common and yet least reported crime in the world.• If intimate violence is not addressed in the early stages, it can escalate in severity and magnitude and could ultimately lead to murder• Intimate partner abuse follows a pattern, these patterns can include – Exploiting vulnerabilities – Wearing down resistance through emotional abuse or isolation from family and friends – Increasing emotional dependency by inflicting injuries but then caring for those injuries