Recovery from violence.
I wondered why some women report sexual violence and other women don’t, trying to understand and without judging their choice.
I asked this question to competent people to understand what are the motivations that lead to certain choices.
After being sexually assaulted, the decision must be made on whether or not to report the incident.
If you decide to file a complaint, law enforcement will ask very detailed questions about the circumstances of the event, trying to bring out as much detail as possible.
Sometimes the agents are very professional and specialized in this type of crime, treating the victim of violence with attention, dignity, respect and very “touch”, explaining exactly why they have to ask certain questions but in other cases, instead, they can be less sensitive and delicate with the victim, causing her a great sense of discomfort and a further shock.
If you have been the victim of a rape you must go to an emergency room as soon as possible, for a visit to prove the incident (any complaint can be made directly to the police garrison present in each emergency room).
It is essential to try to preserve all evidence of the aggression suffered, including clothing. Avoid washing until you have been examined.
Any residue of sperm, hair, saliva, skin etc., can be used to identify the attacker through DNA testing.
After the visit, any injuries and injuries will be treated, as well as possible viral infections and AIDS.
Some information may be provided to the victim to avoid unwanted pregnancies.
If the rapist is identified and captured, you can decide whether or not to prosecute him legally.
If legal action is chosen to continue, we will have to face a long and tough trial in the courtrooms.
Rape is a hard crime to prove.
During the process, the defense will make every effort to dislodged its client, using any means to achieve this purpose.
Often this also includes researching and digging into a woman’s sexual past, revealing and highlighting anything that may throw doubt or uncertainty in her version of events.
Many victims feel that the trauma of a trial is greater than what they are willing to face.
If a woman decides not to report the incident to law enforcement, one can only assume
what happened to her.
It is well known that many victims do not complain because they have become aware of the consequent difficulties that the complaint would entail, or because they feel too guilty, upset, weak or frightened to talk about what happened.
Sometimes these women seek help in themselves and generally do not talk to anyone about their experience.
Degrees of recovery
It was found that most of the victims had an acute emotional reaction
to the situation of danger to one’s own safety.
Although specific emotional, physical and psychological symptoms vary from person to person, it is possible to enclose them in a common set to most victims and classify them into a model known as “Rape Trauma Syndrome“.
It is virtually identical to another disorder called“Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder“(PTSD).
The victim must go through 4 stages before recovering from such an experience:
Acute phase: Disorganization
During this phase the victim can experience a wide range of emotions.
The impact of a rape can be so intense that it causes feelings of shock and/or disbelief.
Feelings of fear, anger and anxiety can manifest through behaviors such as crying, smiling, insomnia, anxiety and tension.
Alternatively, the victim may appear controlled, with his feelings masked and concealed, flaunting a calm and serene behavior or repressed and subdued.
In many cases the victim is in a state of shock, unable to believe that the assault actually took place.
Some women, during or immediately after the assault, found a state of detached super-vigilance.
Even while the incident is happening, victims could fix in the memory the physical characteristics or details of the attacker’s clothing.
This can be interpreted as a way for the victim to distance himself from what has happened, and has, in fact, real benefits for his survival.
During the first few weeks after the violence, the following physiological symptoms may occur:
- Physical trauma resulting from the attack
- Muscle-skeletal tension
- Migraine and fatigue
- Sleep disorders
- Gastro-intestinal problems
Emotional reactions can also be evident.
Women experience a wide range of sensations once they begin to deal with the posthumous effects of rape.
These feelings range from fear, humiliation and embarrassment, to anger, revenge, and guilt.
There can also be an excessive fear of physical harm and death.
The victim should be encouraged to talk as much as possible about what happened to her friends and family or, if that embarrasses her too much, with someone she trusts.
Since the victim goes from the imaginary to having to treat and solve realistic problems, it could fall into a state of generalized anxiety and distress.
The victim seems to have successfully dealt with the experience, but this period is characterized by a strong dose of self-denial and repression.
She begins to resume her normal daily activities and this reaction is very positive and must be stimulated and encouraged.
Perhaps this stage is the most problematic and probably the most difficult to overcome because it is heavily dependent on the mental condition prior to the assault and because the victim is extremely vulnerable, exposed to the opinions and considerations of the people around her.
The woman can feel guilt, relentlessly accusing herself of walking in a certain street, or accepting a compliment, etc., directs her anger towards the aggressor, towards herself.
Long-term process: Reorganization
After being sexually assaulted, all women encounter a kind of disorganization in their lifestyle.
Several factors affect their behaviour in coping with trauma, for example the fortitude, support of social care and the behaviour of other people towards them.
This way of dealing with the problem and the reorganization process begin at different times from person to person.
The same symptoms do not appear in the same order.
This phase is characterized by:
- Need to change your home
- Need to change your phone number
- Fear of being indoors (or at least indoors)
- Fear of being outdoors (cloistered trend)
- Fear of the crowd
- Anxiety of having people behind you
- Problems in the sexual sphere
- Extreme depression
- Sense of anguish
- A near-total inability to live everyday life normally
During this phase the victim is able to stand up to the trauma, integrating the experience into their “lived”; the violence he suffered, it becomes just another bad event in his life.
The victim stops asking ,“Why did this happen to me?”and rather says, “Things like that happen. It’s happened, now it’s over and I’m going“.
Learn to direct her anger against the assailant and not at herself.
Conclusions and statistics
It is certainly one of the most heinous crimes and it is also the only one to remain the same in the number of reports, in the face of a general drop in crime.
An important thing and get help from family and professionals.
Don’t try to do it yourself.
Denouncing is important because in addition to punishing those who commit such a shameful crime, you can help other women not receive the same treatment you have suffered from the lousy one.
Reports and complaints that, moreover, are a minimum percentage compared to reality because the estimates released by Istat say that just 7 percent of rapes are reported, means that thousands of episodes go unpunished.
Women are afraid, since very often violence is experienced in the family or by people who know and are ashamed, however they fear the consequences.
The confirmation is in the data provided by Viminale: between January and June 2017 2,333 carnal violence were committed, in the same period of 2016 there were 2,345.
The number of people reported or arrested is also low: 2,438 in the first seven months of this year. Among them, 1,534 Italians and 904 foreigners.
A fact that – as investigators and analysts make clear – must, however, be compared to the number of inhabitants and therefore to the percentage incidence with respect to the population.
In 2016 there were 2,383 with a division that remained almost unchanged: 1,474 Italians, 909 foreigners.
6 million victims!!
It is the Istat that provides a dramatic photograph.
According to the latest report (2017) as many as 21 percent of Italian women – or 4.5 million – were forced to perform sexual acts and 1.5 million suffered the most serious violence: 653 thousand women victims of rape, 746 thousand of attempted rape.
An entire chapter is dedicated to family abuse: 37.6 between wives and girlfriends have suffered injuries or injuries, 21.8 suffer from recurring pain. And in a chain of endless horrors it turns out that in 7.5 of the cases to trigger the wrath of the partner is unwanted pregnancy.
Analysts say that the state of psychological harassment that affects as many as 4 out of 10 women.
In this case, the impact on interpersonal relationships of what experts call the‘asymmetry of power’is underlined, which ‘increasingly leads toserious forms of devaluation, limitation, physical, psychological and economic control’.
40.4 of the women, over 8.3 million,“have been verbally abused to the point of suffering serious damage to the development of their personality, one in four has difficulty concentrating and suffers from memory loss”.
The numbers provided by the Ministry of the Interior in August indicate a general – in some cases very noticeable – drop in crime.
In the last two years there has been a decrease of 12: in fact, from 1,463,156 reported crimes in the first seven months of 2016 to 1,286,862 in the same period of 2017. Homicides fell from 245 to 208. 11.3 robberies from 19,163 to 16,991; thefts are reduced by 10.3 (although in this case the decrease in complaints is mainly played out) from 783,692 to 702,989.
Only the number of rapes remainsstable: the statistic speaks of a reduction of 0.5 therefore, in fact, non-existent. And it is also frightening to analyze a phenomenon that often involves minors. In 2015, the Ministry of Justice charged 532 boys convicted of rape and 270 for gang rape.
The number of foreigners reported or arrested is low, but it becomes indicative if you make a comparison with the presence in Italy which – according to the latest estimates – are about 5 million residents and almost one million irregulars. In recent days, the research firm Demoskopica has published a dossier relating to the years 2010-2014, which stated that’39 of the sexual assaults were carried out by foreigners compared to 61 by compatriots’.
The analysis for ethnic complaints submitted says that after the Italians ‘there are Romanians, then Albanians and Moroccans’.
Maria Gabriella Carnieri Moscatelli, President of the Pink Phone, warns: “More than making a difference in citizenship, we must be concerned as it is passing a tremendous message of impunity. Rape in Italy is commonplace.’
Nine out of ten unreported rapes!!
Numbers don’t say everything.
One possible explanation for the disparity between northern and southern Europe from the UN could be cultural: where there is a much more developed culture of gender equality we tend to denounce more.
According to a report by the European Union’s Fundamental Rights Agency, only 14 of women reported partner abuse to the police, a percentage that drops for cases where the attacker was not the partner at 13. In Italy the figures are 10 and 13: in essence almost nine out of ten rapes are not reported by the victims.
A reading confirmed by the latest Istat report: compared to the five-year period 2006-2011, victims more often consider violence suffered a crime (from 14.3 to 29.6 for partner violence) and report it more to law enforcement (from 6.7 to 11.8). Some progress has been made, but there is still a long way to go.
- 97 of the rapists will never spend a day in jail.
- Seventy of the women know their sexual attacker.
- 60 percent of women do not denounce violence. Only 40 of the rapes are reported to the police.
- 1 in 6 women have experienced sexual violence in their lives.
- The 98 of the reported rapes is true,only the 2 is false.
- 91 of the victims of rape/sexual violence are female and 9 are male.
- Between 65 and 85 of the rapes are perpetrated by someone the victim knows.
- Between 60 and 99 rapes and sexual violence are perpetrated by men.
- There is a 50 percent chance that a person develops PTSD after a rape.
- Only the 27 whose violence has been met with the legal definition of rape considers themselves a victim of rape.
- 1 in 16 (6.5) men are rapists.
- 1 in 6 or 7 (14-16) reported cases will never see the inside of a courtroom.
- 1 in 3 (30-35) of men would be raped if they knew they were getting away with it and were not being reported.
- 1 in 6 (17) men are victims of sexual violence.
- 1 in 3 (33) women have survived sexual violence or partner violence
- 4 out of 10 rapists are foreigners.
As you can see there is still a long way to go!