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The role of control and loss of privacy in rape

Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 11 months ago

The role of control and loss of privacy in rape



Rape has been regarded as "a crime of violence and control" since the 1970s. According to psychological analysis literature, "control" is a key feature in most definitions of privacy:

  • "Privacy is not the absence of other people from one's presence, but the control over the contact one has with them." (Pedersen, D. 1997).
  • "Selective control of access to the self." (Margulis, 2003)


Control is important in providing:

  • what we need for normal psychological functioning;
  • stable interpersonal relationships; and
  • personal development. (Pedersen, D. 1997)

Violation of privacy or "control", come in many forms, sexual assault, and the resulting psychological traumas, being one of the most explicit forms. Many sexual assault survivors suffer from eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia, which also center around control issues. In some ways, therefore, it makes more sense to look at the issue of sexual assault as an invasion of privacy:


: "The more comfortable a person is with talking about invasion of privacy and in insisting that he or she has privacy that deserves respect, the clearer that person’s understanding of rape will be…" (Mclean, D. 1995)


Consequently, it is important to be aware of the approach of this subject of rape through the concept of privacy because of the historical background and the need to bypass certain Social stigmas.





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