Session 3 

Rape & Sexual Assault

Objectives for this session

Challenge myths and problematic beliefs about rape and sexual assault


Notice situations in which rape or sexual assault may occur


To actively explore the way a bystander can intervene in possible rape/sexual assault scenarios

We will be learning and working together as a group in this programme.


Some of the material we will be discussing will be sensitive and some of us will have had personal experience of the things we discuss.


We will all be respectful of personal emotions as we learn.


Please be aware that we will be talking about sensitive issues and issues that might have affected you or people you care about.


If you feel uncomfortable or upset it is fine to leave the space.

Facilitators will understand and are trained to help you. 

4 Stages of Intervention

Definitions according to UK law:

What is rape?

A person commits rape if they intentionally penetrate the vagina, anus or mouth of another person with their penis without consent.

Definitions according to UK law:

What is sexual assault?

A person commits sexual assault if they intentionally touch another person, the touching is sexual and the person does not consent.

Definitions according to UK law:

What is a serious sexual assault?

A person commits assault if they intentionally penetrate the vagina or anus of another person with a part of the body or anything else, without their consent.

Stage 1: Noticing behaviour or an event

We need to understand and learn about rape and sexual assault in order to be able to notice situations and see behaviours or events as potentially problematic.

What percentage of rapes are committed by someone known to the victim?

A. 


35%

B. 


71%

C. 


85%

Rape is rarely committed by strangers: 85 percent of reported rapes are carried out by someone known to the victim 

NUS survey found that the majority of perpetrators of stalking, sexual assault and physical violence were already known to the victim

‘A rape victim will resist and fight the attacker and there will be signs of injury.’

Agree 

Disagree

Unsure 

Victim Resistance

How do victims of rape resist?


- Physical resistance

- Fighting, hitting, struggling, running away

- Verbal resistance

- Telling the perpetrator(s) to stop, persuasion, shouting, screaming


Not all victims resist. Why is this?


- Fear (the ‘freeze fright’ response)

- The use of weapons

- Multiple assailants 

- Threats

A student’s experience: questions about masculinity?

‘My main problem was dealing with the fact that men can get raped too. Others said I should have beaten him up or been more of a man or that it was a lesson for being seen as a bit promiscuous at times.’

(Cambridge 2014 p.20)

Coercive Behaviour at a Party

Read through the role play in groups.

Designate a character to people in the group and discuss how you may personally act in that situation.

A person who is drunk or using drugs …

A. 


Should be held responsible if they are sexually assaulted or raped

B. 


Should be held partly responsible if they are sexually assaulted or raped

C. 


Are never responsible if they are sexually assaulted or raped

Why rape is not the victim’s fault

- Rape is a violation and act of violence with harmful consequences.


- Responsibility only lies with the perpetrator.


- Nobody has a right to your body without your consent no matter what you do or how you behave.

Discussion point:

Why does it matter if people hold erroneous views (myths) about rape?

For the victim / survivor

- Self-blame

- Negative experience of disclosure

- Unlikely to disclose

- Unlikely to access support

- May suffer mental and physical ill health

Experiencing blame

‘I was raped in 2010 … walking back to college late at night. I took him to court and won - but the most harrowing aspect of having been raped was not the attack itself, but the experiences I had afterwards, both in court and with “friends”. I told very few people but I can't count amount of the times I was asked “what were you wearing”, “were you drunk”. Blame culture is despicable and prevalent in even those who think themselves to be well adjusted on such matters … Women, though were the worst. They were the main perpetrators of queries as to what I was wearing at the time, whether I'd led the man on, whether I was drunk.’


(Cambridge Speaks Out, 2014: http://www.cambridgespeaksout.org.uk/stories/)

Victim Blaming

Read through the role play in groups.

Designate a character to people in the group and discuss how you may personally act in that situation.

For the criminal justice system

Sexual Offences Act 2003, s.74

Discussion point:

What do you think consent means?

If a woman does not clearly say ‘No’ to a man then …

A. 


She should be held responsible if she is sexually assaulted or raped


B. 


She should be partly held responsible if she is sexually assaulted or raped

C. 


She is never responsible if she is sexually assaulted or raped

- The absence of a ‘No’ does not mean that sex is consensual.

- Someone who is asleep or unconscious cannot consent to sexual activity.

- Someone who is very drunk or drugged may not have capacity to give consent.

As a bystander you might look out for:

- Slurred speech or unable to communicate


- Falling over


- Vomiting


- Passing out/in and out of consciousness

8% of respondents to the student survey had had sexual intercourse ‘when they didn’t want to’ because they were or felt unable to say ‘no’

(NUS 2011 p.16)

16% of student respondents have experienced some form of sexual assault

65% reported verbal harassment e.g. sexual comments, wolf whistling, catcalling

Stage 2: Interpreting behaviour or an event as a problem

- It goes on within your community.


- Violence is everybody’s problem.


- The problem has not been solved.

Stage 3: Feeling Responsible

- You are part of the solution.


- It effects people who we care about.

Intent to Rape

Read through the role play in groups.

Designate a character to people in the group and discuss how you may personally act in that situation.

The impact on victims

Short and longer-term reactions may include:


- Self blame, depression, fear, avoidance of people or situations, self-harm, trying to ‘forget’ or normalise, leaving university


Factors impacting on recovery include:

- The reactions of other people, self- blame, the availability of support


The consequences of offending behaviour

- Being labelled and known as an abusive person


- Facing friends, family and other students


- Possessing a criminal record


- Getting a job and impacting future potential


- Being on the sex offender register


- Public disclosure of a criminal record by the police

Being a friend

Watching out for a friend who could be a potential victim.


Watching out for a friend who might be unaware that what they are doing or about to do is a crime.


Making someone realise that their behaviour is not acceptable.

What can you do?

How might you challenge the cultural context?



What situations might you notice as they occur?



What situations might you prevent beforehand?

Objectives for this session

Challenge myths and problematic beliefs about rape and sexual assault


Notice situations in which rape or sexual assault may occur


To actively explore the way a bystander can intervene in possible rape/sexual assault scenarios

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Bystander Session 3 Rape & Sexual Assault

by sutraining

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Public - 6/29/16, 8:42 AM