Monday, 25 March 2013

Rape Is Rape: How Denial, Distortion, and Victim Blaming Are Fueling a Hidden Acquaintance Rape Crisis

Author: Jody Raphael

Published: April 2013

What They Say: A call to action to protect the human rights of women and girls, this expose reveals how interest groups deny the seriousness of rape to further their political agendas. Through firsthand interviews with victims; medical and judicial records; social media; and statistics from police, the FBI, and government agencies, this analysis explains the tactics used by these groups. The personal stories of young rape victims demonstrate how assaults on their credibility, buttressed by claims of low prevalence, prevent many from holding their rapists accountable, enabling them to rape others with impunity. A resources section is also included for those seeking help, advice, or hoping to become involved in the struggle.

What Elaine Says: A simply startling look at something which really should be of concern to us all.

Certain news stories of late have shown a staggering willingness amongst the general population to disbelieve victimes of rape and sexual assault. Also, we seem to be developing a tendancy to downplay the seriousness of ANY sexual assault but in particular, in the area of acquaintance rape.

Almost more staggering however, than not believing, or the downplaying of rape, is the willingness to blame the victim in cases where it is undeniable.  This becomes even more prevelant in cases which fall into the supposed 'gray area' of rape, acquaintance rape*.

You only have to look at any news report on a incident of rape and it will be full of judgement about the victim.  What were they wearing at the time? Had they been drinking?  All of which should have no bearing on the treatment of a victim of any crime yet alone one as serious as rape.  It's worth stating that this book focuses of female victims although it does contain significant statistics for male rape cases.

While definitely coming down on the side of the victim, Raphael tries to look at the facts and figures in a considered and intelligent way.  A good portion of the book is also used to examine the incidents of false rape claims which are forever cited when debating this topic.

What this book provides is an eye opening look at the USA's media and political approach to 'acquaintance rape' and I for one, find it terrifying.

I shall be looking out for some of Raphael's other books in the very near future.

*For me the title of this book holds.  Rape is rape.  There is no 'gray area'.

Please note this was an advance review copy

Elaine's Rating: 8/10

Quotes:

"Responsibility is still laid on the victim.  Years of educating the public about these issues seem to have resulted only in the expectation that women should now know better than to let themselves get raped."

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