Rape and sexual coercion

How does a woman experience the crime?

During a rape, most girls and women feel disgust, suffer from overwhelming fear and often an acute fear of death. In this situation, they experience a total loss of control over their bodies and will. If the perpetrator is known or familiar to the victim, the rape also involves a severe abuse of confidence.

There is no “right” or “typical” behaviour in such a traumatic situation, yet there are intuitive reactions aimed at surviving the situation. Some women are stiff with fear and endure the rape in a seemingly apathetic way. Some defend themselves physically or verbally. Others are seemingly compliant so as to reduce the danger for their lives. Each behavioural pattern is a protective mechanism, which is developed in extremely threatening situations to help ensure survival.