Kinds of Rape and Sexual Assault 329
Sexual harassment. A woman may be forced to have sex by a
co-worker or by her supervisor or boss so that she can keep
her job. She may be threatened with losing her job or other
punishment if she tells anyone.
Sexual abuse of children. A girl or boy can be raped by a man
in the family or any adult. If a father, stepfather, uncle, brother,
cousin, or any other family member makes a child have
sex, or touches her or him in a sexual way, this is rape. It
is important to realize that children may be confused
and may not understand what is happening to
them, especially if they trust the person who is
abusing them. Other members of the family may
not know of the abuse, they may deny that it
happens, or they may say it is the child’s fault. It
is never right to blame the person who has been
raped, but especially not a child.
Rape by a stranger
This is the kind of sexual assault that most people think of
when they hear the word ‘rape.’ A woman may be grabbed on
the street, or attacked in her home. This kind of rape is very
frightening, but it is much less common than rape by someone
the woman knows.
Gang rape. A woman can be raped by more than one man.
Sometimes a man starts raping a woman and other men see
it and join in. Or sometimes young men and boys get together
and rape a woman to prove their ‘manhood’ to one another.
Prison rape. Many women are raped by police or prison guards
after they have been arrested. Also, rape is common between
male prisoners as a way to establish who has more power.
War. Soldiers or fighters
often use rape to
terrorize women and
their community, and to
make people feel ashamed.
Soldiers may gang rape
women and girls in front of
their families to show the
enemy’s power. Women
may be held in camps, and
forced into prostitution
or sexual slavery in order
to stay alive, to keep their
children safe, or to get food.
Touching a child
sexually is rape.
➤ Those who survive
war rape need
special care. She may
need surgery because
of severe damage
to her genitals. If a
woman gets pregnant,
she and her child
may suffer from the
reminder that she was
raped by an enemy.
Rape is a form of
torture when it is
used in war.
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012