Sexual Abuse and What We Can Do About It

       The headlines in the news media today are centered around the abductions and murders that have been going on in Louisiana. A group of rapists and date rapists in prison were interviewed on what they look for in a potential victim and here are some interesting facts. The first thing men look for in a potential victim is hairstyle. They are most likely to go after a woman with a ponytail, bun, braid or other hairstyle that can easily be grabbed. They are also likely to go after a woman with long hair. Women with short hair are not common targets.

            The second thing men look for is clothing. They will look for women who's clothing is easy to remove quickly. Many of them carry scissors around to cut clothing. They also look for women on their cell phone, searching through their purse or doing other activities while walking because they are off guard and can be easily overpowered.

            The time of day men are most likely to attack and rape a woman is between the hours of  8:00 PM and 8:00 AM.  The number one place women are abducted from/attacked is grocery store parking lots. Number two is office parking lots/garages. Number three is public restrooms. The thing about these men is that they are looking to grab a woman and quickly move her to a second location where they don't have to worry about getting caught.

            Only 2% said they carried weapons because rape carries a 3-5 year sentence but rape with a weapon is 15-20 years. If you put up any kind of a fight at all, they get discouraged because it only takes a minute or two for them to realize that going after you isn't worth it because it will be time-consuming. These men said they would not pick on women who have umbrellas in their hands, or other similar objects that can be used from a distance. Keys are not a deterrent because you have to get really close to the attacker to use them as a weapon. So, the idea is to convince these guys you're not worth it.

            Several defense mechanisms to be taught are: If someone is following behind you on a street or in a garage or with you in an elevator or stairwell, look them in the face and ask them a question, like what time is it, or make general small talk, “I can't believe it is so cold out here, we're in for a bad winter”.  Now you've seen their face and could identify them in a lineup, you lose appeal as a target.

            If someone is coming toward you, hold out your hands in front of you and yell Stop or Stay back! Most of the rapists in the interview said they'd leave a woman alone if she yelled or showed that she would not be afraid to fight back. Again, they are looking for an EASY target.

            If you carry pepper spray,  yell “I HAVE PEPPER SPRAY” and holding it out will be a deterrent. If someone grabs you, you can't beat them with strength but you can by outsmarting them. If you are grabbed around the waist from behind, pinch the attacker either under the arm between the elbow and armpit or in the upper inner thigh - HARD. One woman in a self defense class said she used the underarm pinch on a guy who was trying to date rape her and was so upset she broke through the skin and tore out muscle strands.  The guy needed stitches.

            Try pinching yourself in those places as hard as you can stand it; it hurts. After the initial hit, always go for the groin. I know from a particularly unfortunate experience that if you slap a guy's parts it is extremely painful. You might think that you'll anger the guy and make him want to hurt you more, but the thing these rapists told our instructor is that they want a woman who will not cause a lot of trouble. Start causing trouble, and he's out of there .  When the guy puts his hands up to you, grab his first two fingers and bend them back as far as possible with as much pressure pushing down on them as possible. The instructor did it to me without using much pressure, and I ended up on my knees and both knuckles cracked audibly.

             Of course the things we always hear still apply.  Always be aware of your surroundings, take someone with you if you can and if you see any odd behavior, don’t dismiss it, go with your instincts.  You may feel a little silly at the time, but you’d feel much worse if the guy really was trouble.

   The author of the above is unknown.  It was received from a staff member at Hope’s Place in Ashland, KY (An advocacy center for sexually abused children and adults), who felt it should be shared with others.   The Bible speaks concerning several crimes worthy of the death penaltySome of these crimes  and sins are:   1) Murder (Gen. 9:4,5)   2) Kidnapping (Ex. 21:16)   3) Cursing parents (Ex. 21:17)   4) Killing a baby by causing a miscarriage (Ex.21:22,23)   5) Sex with an animal (Ex. 22:19)   6) Incest, homosexuality, adultery,  and many types of sex crimes (Lev. 18:6-23)   7) Rape (Deut. 22:25)                                                                                             

                         We are dealing with the subject of  rape.  It is the crime of forcing another person to submit to sexual intercourse. The word rape does not occur in many English translations of the Bible (KJV, RSV, NKJV). The NIV and the NEB, however, do use the word (Judg. 20:5; Zech 14:2). The account given in the Book of Judges tells of the "filthy outrage" (Judg. 20:6) of the men of Gibeah who assaulted and abused a woman so that she died.

                         Zechariah the prophet predicted that Jerusalem would be captured, "the houses plundered and the women raped" (Zech. 14:2, NEB). This prophecy did come true. The Book of Lamentations records that "women were raped in Zion, virgins raped in the cities of Judah" (Lam 5:11, NEB). The Mosaic laws concerning rape and seduction are recorded in Ex. 22:16-17 and Deut. 22:25-29.

                        The punishment of committing rape was very severe.  A court could inflict for a crime against the person, a sentence of death in the form of stoning, burning, beheading, or strangling, etc.;

             The Bible speaks concerning several crimes worthy of the death penalty.  Some of these crimes and sins  regarded as such are of Hebrew origin.  Some are:

 (1) Stoning, which was the ordinary mode of execution (Ex. 19:13; Lev. 20:27; Josh. 7:25; Acts 7:58; 14:5). The witnesses, of whom there were at least two, were required to cast the first stone (Deut. 13:9 ff; John 8:7). If these failed to cause death, the bystanders proceeded to complete the sentence, whereupon the body was to be suspended until sunset (Deut. 21:23).

(2) Hanging is mentioned (Num 25:4; Deut 21:22), probably not as a mode of execution, but rather of exposure after death. It may have been a Canaanitish punishment, since it was practiced by the Gibeonites on the sons of Saul (2 Sam. 21:6,9).

 (3) Burning, before the age of Moses, was the punishment of unchastity (Gen. 38:24). The Law prescribes it as a punishment in the case of a priest's daughter (Lev 21:9), and in case of incest (Lev. 20:14), but it is also mentioned as following death by other means (Josh 7:25), and some believe it was never used excepting after death. That it was sometimes used as a punishment on living persons among the heathen is shown by Daniel 3.

(4) The sword or spear as an instrument of punishment is named in the Law (Ex. 19:13; 32:27; Num. 25:7 ff). It occurs frequently in monarchic and post-Babylonian times (Judg. 9:5; 1 Sam. 15:33; 2 Sam. 20:22; 1 Kings 19:1; Jer. 26:23; Matt. 14:8,10), but among these cases, there are some of assassination rather than of punishment.

 (5) Strangling as a form of punishment has no Scriptural authority, but according to tradition was frequently employed, and is said to have been performed by immersing the convict in clay or mud, and then strangling him by a cloth tied around the neck.

                         In the Old Testament, offenders were put to death in view of all the people; and frequently the criminal’s body was hanged upon a tree till evening (Deut. 21:22).  God, whose “foolishness” is greater that the “wisdom” of man (1 Cor. 1:25), apparently feels that public execution is a deterrent to capital crimes.  Issues of this nature cannot be decided on mere emotional bases. For those who regard the Bible as a divine revelation from God heeds to its instructions.  

             The Bible is not silent on the matter of how criminals should be handled.  May each of us who desire to honor God and His Word speak up to our law makers concerning a need to return to old fashioned punishment for law breakers.

Posted in Articles By Brother Hoyt.