Please check out the article here: Myths about rape and rape survivors.
In addition to the reasons she states in the article (see below in pink for the most important part of the article), I have a few of my own to add.
Many victims, especially younger ones, somehow take on blame for the rape. As crazy at that sounds, its not uncommon for a girl to think "what did I do to make him rape me?" This happens often in date or aquaintence rape. Of course this is completely wrong thinking, but a traumatized young woman is not necessarily able to form rational thoughts and has probably been exposed to those exact accusations in some form or another (movie, book, lame commentators on talk shows).
All my life I have heard this type of sexist, misconstrued reasoning. Its irresponsible and dangerous. I can't comprehend how anyone can think that way, but apparently there are still a lot of ignorant, unsympathetic, cruel-minded people that have a negative view of women in general. Here is a prime example: Bill O'Reilly.
First of all, the notion that a woman dressed in sexy clothes "asks for it" is ludicrous because rape has nothing to do with sex - its about control and violence and power. When a woman says no, I don't care if she's a prostitute or a nun, she has a right to say NO, and if the man violates that right a crime has been committed. That's the LAW.
Unfortunately for women everywhere, the law is often not held up, an unfair trial finds the victim at fault instead of the attacker** because so many people still don't understand rape and sexual assault. Often in court the victim is made to feel completely humiliated and disgraced. The defense attorney will bring up things that have nothing to do with the crime committed and/or make her re-live the rape in horrifying detail in front of a room full of people (often including her family and friends and reporters). NO WONDER SO MANY WOMEN WANT TO KEEP QUIET!
Some people still believe that a woman who dresses provocatively or puts herself in dangerous situations deserves what's coming to her or is "asking for it". Its hard to believe anyone would think that, you might be shocked by the number of people with that mindset.
This is what I'd like to say to Bill O'Reilly about the remarks he made about a woman who was RAPED and MURDERED:
How would you feel if that woman were your daughter, sister, wife, mother, girlfriend? How would you like that, Bill?
There are many reasons why a woman chooses to delay reporting, including being incapacitated by the ordeal and not wanting to recount the trauma to medical officers, the police, etc, the fear of retribution by the perpetrator, the stigma of being a rape victim, the loss of privacy, and many more. The delay in reporting does not mean that a rape did not occur.
However, courts often infer the latter, as in this particular case as the judge’s statement would indicate.
In fact, the survivor had cited fear of tarnishing her family’s reputation as a reason for not reporting, which the judge found “unacceptable”.
Second, the judge stated that the lack of bruising or scratches on her body further damaged her credibility. Again, it is a myth that all rape victims must suffer from external injuries. In reality, the circumstances of rape are incredibly varied. Rapists can scare survivors into compliance through use of weapons or threats, or survivors have been so terrified as to completely freeze during the rape which would result in lack of visible injuries. In any case, the length of time between the rape and the reporting often results in these injuries healing.
**One of the most horrific cases I am aware of occurred here in my area. Its known as "The Haidl Case" because the name of the main defendant was Greg Haidl. His daddy just happened to be a big shot official in our local government. Greg and his buddies gang raped an unconscious girl on a pool table. The details are hard to talk about but they can be found on-line or in another post on my blog if you want to be disgusted and appalled.
Here's the thing: the first jury was unable to come to a verdict! HELLO!? They assumed the unconscious girl was having a great time being brutally attacked because she had previously had consensual sex with one of them and was bragging that she someday wanted to be a porn star. So that made it okay for them to stick all sorts of foreign objects inside her body as she lay unconscious? That's the conclusion the jury came to. EVEN THOUGH the entire incident was FILMED and the jury was shown the recording!
THANKFULLY there was some sort of mistrial and upon the second trial they were found GUILTY. But guess what? Greg has already been let out and has already committed other sexual crimes.
UPDATE: THEY ARE ASKING TO HAVE THE LABEL "SEX OFFENDER" LIFTED FROM THEIR RECORDS?????? If they allow that I am going to have a fit. Gee, Greg, you should have thought about that while you were sticking a pool cue and lit cigarettes and Snapple bottles inside that girl.....FYI Greg and friends, most young men do not behave this way. You are a convicted sex offender and the women out there deserve to be warned about you.
I will be following this closely to see what the verdict is. I will be protesting if they drop the label. They already let these scumbags out of jail early for good behavior so who knows what they are doing since they obviously think they are ABOVE the law and ENTITLED to special treatment that your average sex offender does not get (unless his daddy is also a rich and powerful political type).