USA: National Violence Against Women Survey/federal study FWD

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Thu, 26 Nov 1998 17:03:48 -0400


--============_-1300008262==_ma============
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

Rape and other violence against women [and rape of men and women in prison]
is a major cause of lasting truama, which often results in a cycle of
homelessness.  For an overview of statistics in a federal study on violence
against women in the USA, see the article below:

http://www.bergen.com:80/editorials/rape19981123.htm
FWD  FWD  Bergen County [NJ, USA] Record - November 23, 1998


THE TRUTH ABOUT RAPE

It happens more often
than we want to think


A NEW federal study confirms the frightening truth about rape: It
occurs more often than we might suspect, and it is still
under-reported.

The National Violence Against Women Survey, sponsored by two federal
departments -- Justice and Health and Human Services -- found that
nearly one in five American women have been the victims of rape or
attempted rape. And nearly half of all rape victims who responded to
the survey said they were assaulted when they were young teenagers,
before their 17th birthday.

"We've got a problem of rape, a serious problem of rape, against
young women, and it's all by someone intimate, someone they know,"
Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala said last week.

Advocates and counselors say fewer teenagers and adult women are
choosing to remain silent about having been raped -- but those who
never come forward are still the majority.

Figuring out how to reach this silent majority with support and
counseling, even if they never press charges, is one of the most
important goals of the efforts behind the federal survey. Another
goal is reaching all teenagers, both male and female, with advice on
dating and peer pressure, how to avoid potentially dangerous
situations, how to say "no," and where to seek help in case of
assault.

One powerful source of information is television. Most of the current
TV shows for teenagers may be centered on sex, but they generally do
little to help young people understand the issues surrounding rape.
However, a recent episode of "Felicity" the new WB network show about
college freshmen in New York, handled them well.

On the show last week, a friend of Felicity's was raped by the
student she was dating. They had returned to her dorm room after a
date, and they had been drinking. At some point in the encounter, she
changed her mind, but he refused to stop and forced himself on her.

The young woman decided not to report the attack, saying she blamed
herself. But friends explained to her that she did not "ask for it,"
that she had said "no," but her protests were ignored.

The episode showed that rape can be committed by "nice" people who
will then try to explain it away. Her attacker denied it at first,
then eventually admitted his guilt, apologized, and left school. He
wrote the young woman a letter, telling her it wasn't her fault. He
seemed genuinely ashamed and contrite.

That may not be the way it usually happens. But this episode of
"Felicity" handled date rape with sensitivity and did not try to
oversimplify the complexities of the incident for its teenage
viewers. At the end of the program, a telephone number was aired for
anyone who wanted to speak with a counselor about sexual assault.

(The Bergen County YWCA rape crisis center's 24-hour phone number is
487-2227.)

END FORWARD
-
** NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is
distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in
receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. **

HOMELESS PEOPLE'S NETWORK  <http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/>  Home Page
ARCHIVES  <http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/archives.html>  read posts to HPN
TO JOIN  <http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/join.html> or email Tom <wgcp@earthlink.net>
--============_-1300008262==_ma============
Content-Type: text/enriched; charset="us-ascii"

Rape and other violence against women [and rape of men and women in
prison] is a major cause of lasting truama, which often results in a
cycle of homelessness.  For an overview of statistics in a federal
study on violence against women in the USA, see the article below:


http://www.bergen.com:80/editorials/rape19981123.htm

FWD  FWD  Bergen County [NJ, USA] Record - November 23, 1998



<paraindent><param>right,left</param>THE TRUTH ABOUT RAPE


It happens more often

than we want to think

</paraindent>


A NEW federal study confirms the frightening truth about rape: It

occurs more often than we might suspect, and it is still

under-reported. 


The National Violence Against Women Survey, sponsored by two federal

departments -- Justice and Health and Human Services -- found that

nearly one in five American women have been the victims of rape or

attempted rape. And nearly half of all rape victims who responded to

the survey said they were assaulted when they were young teenagers,

before their 17th birthday.


"We've got a problem of rape, a serious problem of rape, against

young women, and it's all by someone intimate, someone they know,"

Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala said last week.


Advocates and counselors say fewer teenagers and adult women are

choosing to remain silent about having been raped -- but those who

never come forward are still the majority. 


Figuring out how to reach this silent majority with support and

counseling, even if they never press charges, is one of the most

important goals of the efforts behind the federal survey. Another

goal is reaching all teenagers, both male and female, with advice on

dating and peer pressure, how to avoid potentially dangerous

situations, how to say "no," and where to seek help in case of

assault. 


One powerful source of information is television. Most of the current

TV shows for teenagers may be centered on sex, but they generally do

little to help young people understand the issues surrounding rape.

However, a recent episode of "Felicity" the new WB network show about

college freshmen in New York, handled them well.


On the show last week, a friend of Felicity's was raped by the

student she was dating. They had returned to her dorm room after a

date, and they had been drinking. At some point in the encounter, she

changed her mind, but he refused to stop and forced himself on her.


The young woman decided not to report the attack, saying she blamed

herself. But friends explained to her that she did not "ask for it,"

that she had said "no," but her protests were ignored.


The episode showed that rape can be committed by "nice" people who

will then try to explain it away. Her attacker denied it at first,

then eventually admitted his guilt, apologized, and left school. He

wrote the young woman a letter, telling her it wasn't her fault. He

seemed genuinely ashamed and contrite.


That may not be the way it usually happens. But this episode of

"Felicity" handled date rape with sensitivity and did not try to

oversimplify the complexities of the incident for its teenage

viewers. At the end of the program, a telephone number was aired for

anyone who wanted to speak with a counselor about sexual assault.


(The Bergen County YWCA rape crisis center's 24-hour phone number is

487-2227.)


END FORWARD

-

** NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. **


HOMELESS PEOPLE'S NETWORK  <<http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/>  Home Page

ARCHIVES  <<http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/archives.html>  read posts to HPN

TO JOIN  <<http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/join.html> or email Tom <<wgcp@earthlink.net>

--============_-1300008262==_ma============--