Running Head: PREVENTION OF SEX RELATED CRIMES Prevention of Sex Related Crimes Against Women Outline I. Primary prevention & health promotion A. Why is it important to nursing ?. Sex crimes against women is an ever increasing problem. A. Rape an increasing problem B. High risk potential victims of rape C. Drugs used for date rape D. Psychiatric patients I?. Various resources are available for primary prevention A. Possible locations for preventive programs to reach target population B. Different types of preventive programs IV. Rape prevention conclusion
Prevention of Sex Related Crimes Against Women Health promotion is a type of healthcare service meant to help patients remain healthy by preventing the onset of diseases, lowering the possibility of injuries, and promoting a healthier lifestyle. This service is based on the assumption that if patients participate actively and accept specific lifestyle changes, their chances of suffering from heart attacks, lung cancer, hypertension, obesity, diabetes, and other related diseases significantly lowers. The program works as the bond of trust that develops between the healthcare provider and patient.
The patient understands how their lifestyle choices affects health and well-being, and works with the healthcare provider to develop healthy habits. Patients benefit from participating in health promotion activities such as health education programs, exercise programs, health fairs, wellness programs at work and school, proper nutrition training, and learning the bases of balancing one’s life. One example of this promotional service is prenatal classes. Expectant mothers are taught good nutritional habits, which benefit both the mother and their baby during the gestational period and after birth.
This course increase the likelihood of a normal pregnancy and a healthy baby. Another example of health promotion classes include aerobic exercise and smoking cessation courses focused on the prevention of diseases of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems (Chitty, 1997). Primary prevention is a type of healthcare service designed to assist patients in reducing already identified risk factors such as heredity. This service requires active participation of the patient and the healthcare providers, targeted at disease specific protection for healthy individuals.
Primary prevention programs include periodic health screening, physical examinations, identification of familial and environmental risk factors, community health programs, lifestyle changes to counteract risk factors, occupational safety programs, and environmental safety programs. An example of these programs would be the Denver Development test performed on toddlers and preschoolers during our clinical rotations at Baptist Hospital. Another example is teaching patients the correct way to perform monthly self breast exams for young women with a family history of breast cancer.
Primary prevention focuses on preventing risk factors from developing, and health promotion focuses on general disease prevention and healthy lifestyles choices (Chitty, 1997). Rape is a violent crime that affects the victim physically, mentally, and emotionally. Potential rape victims include all individuals regardless of age, sex, race, nationality, social status, or economic status. The experience is devastating with usually long term affects of depression, isolation from society, low self esteem, and STDs transmitted from the perpetrator.
According to FBI statistical projections every 7 minutes a trenchant rape occurs in the United States; women have a 1 out of 3 chance of becoming a victim of a sexual assault during their life p. Yet, only about 90,000 rapes per year are reported to local authorities. Society in general is unaware with the seriousness of the rape epidemic, since 90% of all rapes are unreported (Nadeau, 1991). Certain behaviors and conditions increases an individual’s risk of becoming a victim of a violent sexual assault. Most rape victims are women between the ages of 16 to 19 years-of-age.
The second highest incident of rapes occurs in women between the ages of 20-24 years-of-age. Women between 16 to 24 years-old are 4 times more likely to be a victim of a rape ( Holcomb, 1997). According to Malik (1997) 35% of high school students in the United States are victims of some type of physical violence within a dating relationship. Children that are exposed to domestic violence are twice as likely to be part of a violent sexual assault filling the role of victim or aggressor. African-Americans and Hipic are also more likely to be victims or aggressors then whites or Asian-Americans (Malik, 1997).
Other potential risk factor include individuals suffering from mental illness or retardation, their chance of a violent sexual assault are increase usually at the hands of caretakers and strangers. Previous rape victims are also highly vulnerable to a repeated sexual assault, because of a low sexual self-respect and an increase feeling of powerlessness (Scott, 1993). Nurses need to target these high risk individuals to explain the realities and frequency of sexual assaults and if an assault does occur it should be reported to the proper authorities.
A growing concern for healthcare providers, and the general population is the increasing availability of drugs used to commit date rapes. These drugs are part of a growing craze among teenagers and young adults as a recreational drug usually combined with alcohol. Rapists are using them in large dosages to incapacitate unsuspecting women by slipping the colorless, odorless, and tasteless drugs into their drinks at social events. The drug mixes immediately with alcohol leaving no signs of alternation to the drink. The victims are lured away from the social gathering to a remote location where they are taking advantage of.
The drugs are used by rapist because it completely impairs the victims memory leaving then with no knowledge of what occurred while under the influence, which last anywhere from 4 to 8 hours. Since the victim is unable to recall the incident, these rape cases are near impossible to prove in court; many times the victims has no description of the perpetrator. The three common rape drugs are Gamma y-hydroxybutyrate, Rohypnol, and Ketamine Hydrochloride and each one has dozens of different street names they are known by.
A main concern for healthcare providers are the possible side effects linked to these drugs. The side effects include nausea, vomiting, seizures, memory loss, comas, hypotension, hypertension, arrhythmias, tachycardia, bradycardia, drowsiness, confusion, shock, cardiovascular collapse, muscular rigidity, apnea, etc. These drugs are inexpensive and readily available in our society despite the fact they are outlawed throughout the United States (Lyman, 1998). Nursing practice for victims of sexual assaults needs to be supportive, nonjudgemental, competent, and unbiased.
This knowledge of practice is especially important to psychiatric nurses because of the association between psychiatric disorders and a history of childhood sexual assaults. Therefore nursing health history documents for psychiatric patients should include questions about possible sexual assaults. Psychiatric nurses must not silence the client or deny the reality of the sexual assault, since this will only revictimize the client; they should initiate discussions using effective listening, empathy, and respect for their client.
Patients suffering from a psychiatric disorder with a past history of sexual abuse are prone to depression, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, self-harm, and sleep disturbance (Gallop, 1998). Primary prevention programs should be readily available for the target population, young women and psychiatric patients at risk of victimization. These programs should be offered at high schools and middle schools by campus officers, advisory counselors, school nurses, brochures, and administration.
Universities are also a good place for prevention programs through counselors, public safety department, health center, health fair, wellness fair, brochures, and administration. Other good sources for prevention are psychiatric care centers, family planning clinic, women’s clinic, medical care centers, church groups, youth groups, after school programs, and community programs. Also, parents should be informed of possible risks of victimization using the above resources; they can be a good resource of information for their kids.
If preventive programs are offered by healthcare providers and proper authorities at these and other locations, then the target population would be reached and informed on measures that would reduce their chances of becoming a statistic. Primary prevention for rape is done using different programs which focus on informing the general public especially the target population about the different aspects of rape and what to do if ever placed in a compromising situation. One program is the RAD system, a self-defense course for women which also covers awareness, risk reduction, prevention, and avoidance.
This system is designed to give women a second viable option when their life is in danger, that option is proper self-defense targeting the weak areas of the male body (Nadeau, 1991). Another program targets date rapes and dating violence. This primary prevention program targets the problem of partner violence, diminishing gender stereotypes, anger managements during conflicts between partners, illustrating the women’s right to say no, and possible warning signs to look for before and during a date with an new acquaintance.
An increased understanding of date rape concept may reduce its occurrence by helping women perceive a dangerous situation and realize their right to refuse improper actions or proposals (Foshee, 1998). Other prevention programs include a discussion on the danger and reality of date rape drugs. This program covers the effects of the rape drug in the body, the mode of ingestion for the drug, and helpful ideas to avoid becoming a victim of this increasing phenomenon for example.
The rape problem will always be a part of society and rapists will continue to try new ways of luring victims in their hands. Victims of sexual assault suffer emotionally, physically, and mentally. Women can decrease their risk of victimization through different primary prevention programs conducted by healthcare providers and proper authorities. References Chitty, K. K. (1997). Professional nursing concepts and challenges. Pennsylvania: W. B. Saunders Company. Foshee, V. A. , Bauman, K. E. , Arriaga, X. B. , Helms, R. W. , Koch, G. G. & Linder, G. F. (1998). An evaluation of safe dates, an adolescent dating violence prevention program. American Journal of Public Health, 88 (1), 45-50. Gallop, R. , Page, G. , McCay, E. , Austin, W. , Bayer, M. , & Peternelj-Taylor, C. (1998). Caring for sexually abused clients. Canadian Nurse, 94 (7), 30-34. Holcomb, D. R. , Westhoff, W. W. , & McDermott, R. J. (1997). Teaching idea. Date rape and the high school student: a likely scenario. Journal of Health Education, 28 (5), 308-310. Lyman, S. A. , Hughes-Mclain, C. & Thompson G. (1998). “Date-rape drugs”: A growing concern. Journal of Health Education, 29 (5), 271-274. Malik, S. , Sorenson, S. B. , & Aneshensal, C. S. (1997). Community and dating violence among adolescents: Perpetration and victimization. Journal of Adolescent Health, 21 (5), 291-302. Nadeau, L. N. (1991). R. A. D. Systems. Virginia: Rape Aggression Defense Systems, INC. Scott, C. S. , Lefley, H. P. , & Hicks, D. (1993). Potential risk factors for rape in three ethnic groups. Community Mental Health Journal, 29 (2), 133-141.