“Rape: Understanding The Crime And Knowing Your Resources”

Thank you San Diego City Times and Phoenix Webb for this comprehensive story on the subject of Rape. Outlining the process for your readers is a great way to educate not only the victim, but also those who might not know how strenuous the after process is for Victims. We hope all parents will read and give this to their daughters and sons.

We appreciate our constituents support and patience while we continue our efforts across the country in trying to make federal inroads.

Rape: Understanding The Crime And Knowing Your Resources

– San Diego City Times, By Phoenix Webb

The U.S. has changed greatly since 1929, when the FBI defined rape as “The carnal knowledge of a female, forcibly and against her will,” Ms. Magazine reported in 2011.

Today there is a new definition of rape from the FBI: “The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.”

This definition, established in 2012, is inclusive of all sexual acts committed without consent that have victimized men, women and children for centuries.

Rape is a fact, a statistic, a crime, a felony, a physical violation of a person’s body without their expressed consent. It violates the psyche, the spirit, the emotions. It is not specific to age, social status, economic class or gender.

Rape statistics and San Diego colleges

According to the Center for Community Solutions of San Diego, 77 percent of rapes are committed by someone the victim knows. According to the same study, only between 16 to 28 percent of rapes are reported.

The Automated Regional Justice Information System website reports there were 316 rapes within San Diego city limits between January and December 2013. Twenty-two rapes of the total reported took place in the four neighborhoods where each of the San Diego Community Colleges are located: 15 in East Village (San Diego City College); two in Clairemont Mesa East (Mesa College); six in Mountain View (ECC); five in Mira Mesa (Miramar College).

San Diego County has five campuses with on-campus housing: San Diego State University, University of California, San Diego, and California State University, San Marcos, all of which are public; and Point Loma Nazarene University and University of San Diego, which are private. The most recent numbers of rapes reported for each of these campuses, not including San Marcos, which is in North County, were for the year 2012. UCSD, PLNU and USD each reported one case of rape, while SDSU reported a total of 30 rapes.

Sgt. Jordan Mirakian of the City College Campus Police has been an officer for 16 years. He served five of those years at San Diego State University. “That’s where a majority of my exposure to sexual assault investigations occurred,” he said. “It’s a college campus where students live on or around the campus in dormitory or residence hall style living, alcohol and drugs are involved … and you have young people who have lived away from home for the first time. Some of them are quite impressionable, maybe not as street savvy and they get in situations that sometimes are beyond their control.”

Marakian explained an element of crime known as opportunity. The typical community college student is a commuter. At community colleges, there are usually people about and most of the campuses are well lit, thus reducing opportunity, but it does not prevent rape if the intent (another element of crime) is present.

What rape does to the victim

A victim of rape experiences what may be the most traumatic time in their life. The victim is left with a combination of any and/or all feelings of uncleanliness, shame, fear, uncertainty about whether to report and/or who to tell, physical illness, confusion, self loathing, self blaming and panic.

“Probably the most common mental health issues that we see for people who are survivors of sexual assault is post-traumatic stress, and we use the term post-traumatic stress instead of post traumatic stress disorder… we like to say that someone is having stress versus they have a disorder,” said Abigail Burd, a licensed clinical social worker and adjunct counselor at City College’s Mental Health Counseling Center.

 

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