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I am a woman. I hold up half the sky for the world is seen through my eyes. Toltec fragment.

We hear about women being raped – unreported ones occur every minute; reported rapes, because of injuries, occur every 6.5 minutes. Victims rarely tell, saving themselves more anguish, because women are called liars who want ruin the rapist’s career/life.

Rapists are the least likely criminals to ever be charged, prosecuted, much less imprisoned (15 of 16 rapists walk around freely) so most rapes, especially non-stranger rapes, go unreported. While a woman is assaulted every minute in this country (in some countries the rate is even higher) the proportion of rapists to total men is between 6-12 percent, with as many as 25 percent college males assaulting young women. Disturbingly, approximately 64 percent of all rapists become predators.

To be clear, the vast majority of men will never rape anyone. In a 2002 study of 1882 men between ages 18 and 71; 120 of them self-identified as rapists; 44 said they only raped once and the other 76 rapists admitted to 1045 incidences of sexual/physical assault over a four-year period. Most sexual predators are white men (57 percent), over the age of 30 who commit 69 percent of all rapes.

Those statistics give us some idea of who rapes, but the why is more complicated. The basis for rape is unbridled rage, hyper-masculinity, a need to dominate women and inability to empathize with others’ pain. Some rapists have distorted thinking, believing women want to be raped. Many predators were abused as children. For others, a skewed sense of arousal from rape sounds, coupled with deep anger toward women, is their motivation.

Most sex crimes are impulsive, and treatment for rapists while somewhat effective, is almost non-existent and expensive. Defense attorneys don’t encourage their clients to accept treatment – that admits guilt, so the serial rapist is set free under current court guidelines.

We, as a nation, must face the virulent hatred and daily disdain for women that remains unaddressed throughout our society. In order to change society, we must change our policies toward rape. Vote.

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