Outside in the rain, a young man approached the house. He knew exactly where to go, he had been watching the back door. No one knows how often he had been out there, but he knew exactly where to find the hidden key. It was hidden in a woodpile behind some bushes next to the whit picked fence. He used it to let himself in the back door. He walked through the kitchen, around a corner, up the stairs, past the kids’ rooms, and into Ross’s bedroom. She’d been asleep for about half an hour, and the movement in the room startled her awake. Her first thought was that one of the children had come to her with a problem. Then she noticed the flashlight held by a tall figure dimly illuminated by a night-light down the hall. “Who are you? What do you want?” She demanded. “My friend is with your children, and he has a gun,” the man said. “He’ll kill them if you don’t do what I want.” Ross pleaded with him to take whatever money was there and leave. Her told her not to scream, and when she began to cry, he told her she should stop, because he said “you’re a grown woman.” He performed oral sex on her, and then raped her. When he had finished, he said to no one in particular, “That was awesome.” Then he put a pillow over her face, told her to count to 100, and then he left the house. When she was sure he was gone, she checked the children and found the asleep and unharmed (apparently there had been no accomplice). (Grossman) This is just one of the disturbing situations where an innocent person is made into a victim.
Rape is a felony crime in which a person is forced to have sexual intercourse without giving consent. Rape is traumatizing, and has a long lasting effect on how victims cope in society. While most rapes are unreported the number of cases reported in the United States more then doubled between 1970 and 1986. Rape is often motivated by extreme anger toward the victim or a need to overpower the victim. The motive is rarely sexual. Rape is intended to abuse, humiliate, and dehumanize the victim. 50% of all rapists are under the age of 25 and are most frequently with someone the victim already knows. This can be very traumatic and have many effects on the victim. The effects of rape are both physical and psychological. Some of the physical problems may be bruises, swelling around genital area, bruising around the vagina, sexually transmitted diseases, and/or possible pregnancy. Psychological effects may be guilty feelings, irritability, flashbacks, depression, fear, and difficulty. The physical effects may last from a day to a few months, depending on the extent of the injuries. The mental and emotional effects are less predictable, and may last a lifetime. (Cooper).
RVA is an Illinois not-for-profit organization made up of many individuals with two primary goals: to assure that survivors of sexual assault are treated with dignity and compassion; and to affect changes in the way the legal system, medical institutions and society as a whole respond to survivors.
RVA focuses on both social service and social change. Through our presence in Chicago area
emergency rooms, we provide nonjudgmental emotional support to victims of sexual violence,
enabling them to become survivors. By providing basic legal and medical information, and referrals to other service organizations, we help the survivor make informed decisions. We also offer survivors continued support through telephone follow-up and our staff of counselors and legal advocates. Through these services, we enable survivors to regain control over their lives as quickly as possible. Through our work with the Chicago Police Department, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office and other area institutions, we strive to improve the treatment of survivors as a group in our society. RVA offers three distinct program areas: Counseling (individual and group), Advocacy legal and medical) and Education ; Training.
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