Real rape is a heinous crime. It is not the same thing as sexual force imagined in fantasy, described in stories or depicted in movies. It does unimaginable emotional damage to the victim.
A potential rapist may believe, in his fantasies, that he will have total control over the situation and the victim. However, nearly half of assaults fail or are interrupted. Whether the rapist completes the crime or not, the assault is frequently prosecuted. The crime is a felony, and can result in a long prison sentence.
Most assaults are not by strangers -- the victim usually knows the assailant and can identify them to police.
All men in prisons are at an abnormally high risk for being raped by other males. But convicted rapists serving time are at even higher risk than others -- being orally raped, anally raped, gang raped, attacked or murdered by other inmates.
After being raped in prison, the criminal may experience many of the usual side effects of rape victims: post traumatic stress disorder, rape trauma syndrome, perpetual fear, nightmares, flashbacks, self-hatred, substance abuse, depression, suicide.
The average sentence served for rape is 90 months (more than 7 years)4, and some rapists receive life sentences, so they may be assaulted repeatedly while in prison.
If a rapist survives his prison time, life does not return to normal after he is released. Convicted rapists must register their whereabouts in a national database which is accessible online to all citizens. The convicted sex offender's face is shown along with his exact address. He can never escape his past. He faces a lifetime of difficulty in trying to find work or a place to live.
This is as it should be, for a rapist should pay for his actions for the rest of his life. 1. Reported rapes and sexual assaults totaled 247,730 in 2002. Of these cases, 87,010 were rapes, and 70,050 of those cases were attempted rapes. (Bureau of Justice Statistics 2003. National Crime Victimization Survey Crime Victimization, 2002. Washington, DC U.S. Department of Justice.)
2. There were .4 rapes among persons 12 or older per 1,000 people in 2002. In 52 percent of these victimizations, the offender was an intimate, another relative, a friend, or acquaintance of the victim. (Ibid.)
Nearly 7 in 10 rape and sexual assault victims knew their attacker prior to their assault. (Rennison, C., U.S. Dept. of Justice, 2000)
90% of rape victims attending colleges know their offenders. (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2000)
Approximately 84% of sexual assault victims know their rapistin some way ("acquaintance rape").("Rape in America: A Report to the Nation." 1992. National Center for Victims of Crime.)
3. The results of several surveys conducted since 1994 on rape and sexual assault inside prisons indicate that conservatively speaking, one in 10 of all male prisoners in the United States correctional system have been raped, sexually assaulted, or coerced into sexual activity by other inmates. (Human Rights Watch. 2001. No Escape, Male Rape in U.S. Prisons. New York, NY.)
The legal definition of rape:
Forced sexual intercourse including both psychological coercion as well as physical force. Forced sexual intercourse means penetration by the offender(s). Includes attempted rapes, male as well as female victims, and both heterosexual and homosexual rape. Attempted rape includes verbal threats of rape.