URIDU Health Family Work

Can I be raped by someone I know?

Most women who are raped know the man who rapes them. If the woman must continue to have contact with him, it can make it very hard for her to recover from the rape and to tell others about it.

Rape by a husband or ex-husband
If the law or traditional custom treats a woman as the property of her husband, he may think he has the right to have sex whenever he wants, even if the woman does not want it.

A woman can be raped by her boyfriend
Her boyfriend may say he has the right to have sex because he has spent money on her, because they have had sex before, because she has teased him sexually, or because he has offered to marry her. But if he forces her, it is still rape. A woman may find it hard to talk about this kind of rape, because she fears others will blame her.

Sexual harassment
A woman may be forced to have sex by a co-worker or by her supervisor or boss so that she can keep her job. She may be threatened with losing her job or other punishment if she tells anyone.

Sexual abuse of children
A girl or boy can be raped by a man in the family or any adult. If a father, stepfather, uncle, brother, cousin, or any other family member makes a child have sex, or touches her or him in a sexual way, this is rape. It is important to realize that children may be confused and may not understand what is happening to them, especially if they trust the person who is abusing them. Other members of the family may not know of the abuse, they may deny that it happens, or they may say it is the child’s fault. It is never right to blame the person who has been raped, but especially not a child.