What should I know about 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.
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.
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.
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. Rape is a form of torture when it is used in war.
IMPORTANT: 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.