Health has been defined by the WHO as the state of complete physical,mental and social well being and not just the absence of diseases.
Rape,according to Wikipedia, is a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual penetration carried out against a person without that person’s consent. The act may be carried out by physical force, coercion, abuse of authority, or against a person who is incapable of giving valid consent, such as one who is unconscious, incapacitated, has an intellectual disability or is below the legal age of consent. The term rape is sometimes used interchangeably with the term sexual assault.
Rape has effects on the 3 aspects of health – physical,mental and social.
Normal,consensual sex is facilitated by release of vaginal fluids which make sex enjoyable and painless.
With rape, this is absent,which makes it painful and there may even be tears in the vaginal walls and other parts of the female genitals.
There could be consequent tramsmission of sexually transmitted disesases such as Gonorrhea,Syphilis,Herpes and Hiv / Aids.
*MENTAL ( PSYCHOLOGICAL)*
A number of studies have found that being the victim of sexual assault as an adolescent is associated with depression and diminished self-esteem. There is some evidence that being a victim of sexual assault has long-run effects on educational attainment and, through educational attainment, on socioeconomic status. Its been found that there was a “chain-like sequence in which victimization diminishes educational self-efficacy, which subsequently undermines educational performance and attainment.”.Furthermore, Sexual assault / rape has some short-run impact on high school grades and attitudes toward school. Rape is associated with disordered eating behaviors and psychological ill – health.
Studies have shown that women who were physically assaulted as adolescents were at greater risk for revictimization.
There could be sequelae such as morbid,misplaced fear of the opposite sex,trust issues and fear of future sexual relationships,leading to frigidity and inability to derive pleasure from sex even in normal relationships.
It is very important that in cases of rape,the victim should visit an orthodox,government accredited facility,get attended to by a qualified medical doctor,who would request for information,examine the client,carry out necessary investigations and prescribe necessary medications.
Repairs of any sustained injuries would also be carried out.
The documentation would also help with the legal aspects later on.
There is absolutely no reason for a rape victim to suffer a double assault of carrying the pregnancy that might result from the incident. There is a preventive drug that would be given to such a lady,to prevent any pregnancy.
There is also need for counselling by Mental Health Professionals.
As a Public Health Practitioner, I am more concerned about the prevention of this despicable act.
Our young ladies should be taught to take utmost care in this regard.
Avoid indecent,provocative dressing.
Avoid being alone in dark,lonely places – be in company of at least 1 other person.
Avoid leaving drinks/ food to go and ease yourselves and coming back to still take that drink.
Be careful of the kind of company you keep – whether male or female.There have been cases where the victim’s girlfriend was part of the plan to get her raped.
Parents can get devices like Pepper Sprays,etc for their daughters.