Women Should Get Rape Insurance?

When women are raped the emotional fallout can be great. My brother had a girlfriend who had been date raped. On occasion she would suddenly begin crying because of this. Sexual dysfunction is common, with sex drive evaporating. One man I know of said a woman went numb when he initiated sex after weeks of dating. When he talked to her about it, she said she had been raped, and now leaves her body, mentally and emotionally, whenever sexual encounters arise. Many become anxious or depressed. Some experience posttraumatic stress disorder.

No wonder rape is the crime women most fear, other than murder. We plan our days and activities around it, we avoid going out alone at night, we consider the safest route, we get a friend to join us, we avoid strange men. The list goes on.

Now Kansas state Rep., Peter DeGraaf expects us to add one more thing to our list: purchase what, for many, would be essentially rape insurance.

DeGraaf wants to ban insurance companies from offering abortion coverage as part of their general health plans, even if the pregnancy results from rape. Instead, women should buy separate, “abortion-only policies,” he says. And at an extra cost.

When challenged that this expectation was heartless for rape victims who have already endured enough, DeGraaf simply explained that everyone needs to plan ahead in life. “I have a spare tire on my car,” he offered. “I also have life insurance,” he added.

Spare tire. Abortion insurance, just in case you’re raped. Yeah, the two are equivalent.

Sexual assault is too often trivialized in our culture. Some think women secretly want it or ask for it. Many think it’s not that traumatic. We see this when a 16-year-old cheerleader is ordered to cheer her rapist or get kicked off the squad. She took her case to court and lost and is now expected to pay her rapist’s court fees (he pled guilty to a lesser charge).

Most of those who govern rape victims are powerful men, whether legislators, school superintendents, or the courts. They rarely worry about becoming victims of sexual assault, themselves, and too often see the attacks as trivial.

Hard to believe DeGraaf is also an associate pastor. I wonder what sort of empathetic counseling he hands out.

Georgia Platts

Related Posts on BroadBlogs
Cheerleader Ordered To Cheer Her Rapist, and Other Stories
Trafficked Girl Shoots Pimp, Gets Life Sentence
Rape Victims Condemned and Dismissed: Then and Now

About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on June 1, 2011, in feminism, gender, psychology, rape and sexual assault, sexism, violence against women, women and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 33 Comments.

  1. Alejandrina Lara

    I agree with Roxanne, men think they know how women feel about rape. As a rape victim, i cringe when I read a story of rape and they mention that the victim wanted or enjoyed it. Those kind of comments caused me to question myself if I had asked for it. Sadly, the consequences to the victim are harsh especially in future relationships. 5 years later since my attack, i still have a hard time opening up to my husband. The recent case of the Stanford rape, is a disgrace. I hurt for the victim, in which he just got a slap on the wrist because the right amount of jail time, would harm him. Yet, no one will actually understand the harm that has been caused to her. She, herself will only know the pain. Sadly, I never took my rapist to justice because I was scared no one would believe me. Yet, thinking about getting rape insurance is kind of a scary thought. Even if I hadn’t gotten rape, I think I would see it as an okay for men to think its okay to do it. The idea of offering rape insurance, means that there are so many cases happening that we think as a society, we need it. instead of rape insurance and waiting to see if it happens to you, I think we need to come together and figure out a way to prevent it and not prepare for it.

  2. I’m not sure how to feel about it. I think if women were to get rape insurance, it would give men the idea that it’s ok to rape since the women are “protected”. However, it doesn’t sound half bad. My sister in law was raped at 15 and became pregnant, some insurance wouldn’t have been a bad thing 20 years ago. She aborted the baby, she was too young to be a mother, could not afford having a child, and did not want the reminder of this torturous event.

    I’m on the fence about it! Hmm..

  3. I think that’s huge issues we have in today’s society is that men this that they know so much about how women feel about rape. I remember a particular store a friend told me about a person that he knew in high school that supposedly raped a girl. He went on the say that the guy lost his football scholarship and wasn’t able to go to college after that because of her. This really bothered me because he only heard the guys side of the story and I don’t think many men would admit to raping someone. I think that people tend to focus on how the rape affected the rapist and not the victim. This is a problem because when people do or say things such as you ruined his future they are not considering how much of an effect it can have on the woman mental and emotional state as well. I personally think that woman always have rape in the back of their mind and if we had something like rape insurence that would just cause more fear of being raped.

    • Unfortunately you are right. It’s amazing how often people worry about the rapist instead of the victim. if the rapist had simply chosen not to rape he wouldn’t have a problem. Meanwhile, women who have experienced rape have a higher rate of PTSD then people who have seen military combat.

  4. Reblogged this on Live your life; Don't just survive… and commented:
    In our current social climate it is so unfortunate that victims are too often re-victimized through the lack of education of our judicial, political, and social system. Georgia Platts points yet another thoughtless and uniformed proposal that, women in general, should now be purchase separate abortion insurance. This is not a misprint.

  5. Sometimes the haters will try anything. Tonight while getting out of the pool a strange man entered the pool gate nearest to the entry gate to the apts. where I live. Next, the dog barked on the other side of the brick wall near the deep end of my pool in the condo’s behind where I live, then some chain link rattled on my side of the fence near the shallow side of my pool. I was spooked and caught my breath because I was spooked. Then the man ran out of the pool. I finished getting out of the pool and went to check my mail. That was when I saw a strange vehicle sitting in front of the mailboxes. I got my smart phone out to record the tag and that was when the man ducked down in the backseat of that car behind the woman driver and a male passenger next to her. He saw that I saw him laying down in the seat so he got up and waved at me. I walked over to his car and asked him why he ran. He said that he thought I was someone else. Only problem, why did he run, why did he lay down in the back of the car seat. Tag # White Buick 4YGC534.

  6. This makes me mad. Why should women have “rape insurance”? To me it would open the door to men and other sexual predators to have the right to rape someone. And not being able to abort a child that came from a rape is nonsense; I believe that women have the right to do whatever they please with their bodies. Imagine how the woman would feel is she could not get an abortion simply because it’s the law. They would eventually have the child and maybe that child will constantly be reminding the women of what happened, this can also lead to a child being unhappy. If the mother say hates the child because it was the product of a rape, the child will suffer. Of course the child is not aware of what happened to the mother at a young, but the mother might not love or treat the child the same, because it was the product of rape.

  7. So, should we drop coverage for injuries from ANY crime from Medical Insurance? I think not.

  8. I agree with Angela. Teaching rapists not to harm someone else is the best thing we can do to make the world a better place. Showing people how to protect themselves ensures that people do not have to live in fear all their lives of something that shouldn’t even be happening in the first place. Think about it. That person that it could happen to could be anyone including you, family members, friends, people you have encountered, those you have never met before, as well as animals. It was weird but I heard about something involving a baby elephant and an adult elephant. I don’t mean to scare anyone but this is just a reality check. Put yourself in the shoes of rape victims everywhere dead or alive. Do they matter a little bit more now? I’m sure they do. Issues like this have always mattered. Nothing has changed. Everyone needs to be aware of things like rape, violence, or anything that harms others.

  9. Angela Nguyen

    Why is it that we live in a world that teaches us how to NOT get raped and how to be prepared if you do instead of teaching rapists NOT to rape? Of course, I still believe that every women should be able to protect herself one way or another, physically. Instead of encouraging rape insurance, why not hold self defense classes that teach people how to protect themselves if they encounters a rape situation? At least this way, they’d be more confident in themselves if there was no way out of it instead of being in complete fear of it and not knowing what to do if rape came their way. No woman, or man, wakes up thinking today’s the day they’re going to get raped. So yes, I do think rape insurance is a good thing, but not in the form of a medical bill. Rather, the assurance that the victim will be able to know what to do to defend themselves and even PREVENT the rape from happening in the first place, sounds much more ideal.

  10. If any of you have read A Piece of Cake by Cupcake Brown it was interesting because though the girl in the story was raped and had gotten pregnant, she decided to keep her baby because she finally had someone who would love her unconditionally no matter what. Linda you made a good point. If the girl or woman did not want the child she could give him or her up for adoption. But yes it is up to the mother whether or not she is going to have an abortion or not.

  11. Taddshana Kelly

    I have never heard of rape insurance, and to be honest I don’t completely agree with it. I was raised in a very religious household and I would never choose to get an abortion. If a child was meant to come into this world then that’s what was destined to be, God does not make mistakes. However I do believe that woman should have the right to choose whether or not they want to have an abortion. I’ve never known anyone who got pregnant after being a victim of rape but I’m sure it happens more often then we can imagine. This type of decision should be left up to the woman who is carrying the child. It should not be based on who has rape insurance or not. I feel as though this rape insurance idea is very insensitive and just another way to collect money. When a woman is raped she is scared, battered and worried about her safety. The last thing she needs to worry about is her insurance deductible.

  12. I know it’s too idealistic and naïve to think that society and government shouldn’t treat rape as a necessary evil or as something unavoidable. I know that crime will always exist (and therefore, rape will too), but shouldn’t the numbers go down instead of being so consistently high? Maybe attitudes such as Peter DeGraff’s are undermining the seriousness of rape. Insurance is meant to take care of health problems, car accidents, and fires. It shouldn’t treat rape as an illness. Women aren’t responsible for being sexually assaulted. The proposal of rape insurance insinuates that women must “plan ahead” and take responsibility for the crimes of men. Perhaps instead of pursuing frivolous suggestions (such as rape insurance), we should pay attention to the important task at hand. The task (the question), that lies before us, as women and as men, is how do we lower the rape rates while supporting rape victims?

  13. This is my first time hearing about Rape Insurance, couldn’t most women fake their rape, but I guess that goes with any type of insurance. Personally I don’t think women should have to pay for insurance, they shouldn’t have to worry, and furthermost fear of even being raped. Those things should never happen in our society, but unfortunately they do. No women should have to plan for rape by getting insurance. I believe this is just another get rich scheme for insurance companies to make money it is unorthodox for a women to pay for what someone else has done to her, overall I think women shouldn’t get insurance it should be given to as a right.

  14. Corrie Townsend

    Wow. What a loaded topic. I wonder what a man is doing discussing the topic for women in the first place? Let alone an associate pastor? What a lot of compassion he shows. I was an adopted child, although not from rape, and while I feel the same way that the child shouldn’t be held responsible for the wrongs of the father, when it comes to rape I believe every woman should have the right to choose for herself. Many, many women develop PTSD after having been raped, and while their bodies may be behaving in a natural way, their minds certainly are not. Are we to ask them to carry this physical reminder for nine months if they struggle just to feed themselves because they won’t leave the house? The confusion and self hatred that can be parts of post rape mentality, or the blame the rape victim often places on herself because our society tells her she had to have done something wrong to attract this unwanted attention, don’t provide an emotionally stable environment for a pregnancy. The stress on the woman alone could cause her to miscarry which, although more treatable today, can still be fatal. If the woman feels incapable of being reminded physically everyday for almost ten months of her life altering trauma, can we really fault her? Why should the women pay for rape insurance? Sounds like men should have to start paying a bail bondsman ahead of time, just in case they rape someone.

  15. I agree that women who are raped should be able to get an abortion. I am not always for abortion but that is an exception that I believe is justifiable. I understand rape is probably very traumatic and should not be taken lightly which is why I do not agree with Mr. DeGraff. I believe a woman should be able to get an abortion in circumstances such as after a rape. I think he should realize how foolish what he is proposing is. He is not seeing things from a woman’s point of view, and is being very negligent to say the least.

  16. It is what we know, we live it every day, we must be aware at all times. As women, we do need to look ahead for our own good. I am not in agreement with the what the pastor mentioned about having insurance to cover rape incidents. I am sure that the insurance would only cover abortion and not all the doctors needed to heal the psyche. That would most likely have an extra charge.
    I have known someone that was raped and she was a wreck. She had the opposite effect of some and was very sexually active. She never had a long relationship.
    If this type of insurance was passed, it should be equipped with preventive measures, such as, self defense, pepper spray and tazor training. Most importantly it should have a castration clause for the rapist.

  17. From my point of view, rape is definitely one of the most serious crimes in the world. As being a woman, I can imagine how horrible the experience of rape is for a female victim. Women suffer this because they are not strong enough to fight back. And once a woman suffered this, she would always remind this terrible experience through her lifetime. She can hardly get into any sexual activity even with her boyfriend or husband. She may catch severe mental disease as well and becomes depressed. So, this is really a big problem for every woman which should be taken seriously. Thus, I think having rape insurance is good and necessary.

  18. I believe that having an abortion after being raped comes down to the mother’s choice. What if the girl who gets knocked up is a Muslim girl where being raped is the girls fault? What if she cant tell her parents that she got raped because she’s afraid of what her parents would do to her for bringing shame upon her family?

  19. The issue here isn’t only about whether or not abortion should be covered by insurance and under what circumstances, the issue is the precedence this would set for all insurance companies regarding what they will and will not cover. “Abortion insurance, just in case you’re raped.” This is absurdity at its finest. How discriminating against being female can an industry get? How about prostate cancer insurance, just in case you contract it? Diabetes insurance? Cutting a finger off insurance? Let’s have health insurance that is a smorgasbord of choices! Consumers can just check off which conditions they fear the most, or are genetically predisposed to and that’s what the company will be obligated to cover. Depending upon a person’s genetic propensity for a certain illness, accident, or condition would determine how much the insurance would cost. Maybe Mr. Peter DeGraaf would like to buy extra “just-in-case” insurance for testicular cancer, Peyronie’s Disease, (look that one up!), or male rape.

  20. You all have valid points. I want to change my answer. I just skimmed through the article. I don’t believe a woman should have to get insured. This would mean planning ahead for something that should not happen in the first place! With the recession and other things to worry about women are expected to pay money after they are attacked! On top of that they are shunned by society instead of helping the victims recover. Why doesn’t the government take issues like this seriously and give the attackers exactly what they deserve? They can’t just go around and hurt people because they feel like it. Everyone should protect themselves and just be careful. There are some sick people out there. It is so sad and disgusting that things like rape go on all over the world and no one does anything about it. Hurting anotherhuman or anything to make yourself feel better is the dumbest thing I have ever heard of. I think it is just insecure people going out of their way to make others feel just as miserable as they feel. You know what they say “misery loves company”.

  21. Rape makes me angry! gr… bring a taser-gun! or a gun! unrealistic, maybe, but rapists to me is the similar to murderers. It’s the dumbest act to feel empowering. Want to feel empowered and manly? be good at a sport and dominate other people through that. No matter how much she wants it and does not want sex, well too bad! it is her choice, you can try as hard as you can to get her to change her mind but if the answer remains, deal with it. i can not imagine what the aftermath physically and psychologically to that cheerleader. why should there be an extra cost for abortion? medicare or life-insurance doesn’t matter… the government should release a subsidized blocked grant to help rape victims recover. after-all isn’t their job to keep everyone safe? i agree, degraaf is an idiot.

  22. Jennifer Barry

    I always assumed that if a woman was raped and became pregnant, that she would be able to obtain an abortion free of cost through planned-parenthood, or another similar clinic. I guess I was wrong. It’s absolutely absurd to force women to “plan ahead” for their rape by getting extra insurance. Perhaps, instead we should force men to pay extra for prostate problems, and ED medications. Of course that will never happen. I honestly don’t think the majority of men take rape very serious unless the woman is visibly injured. Men don’t view their bodies the same as women, therefore they can’t imagine the violation that rape truly is. Hopefully some female represtentatives step up to the plate and call this DeGraaf to the carpet!

  23. I can’t understand how some people can be so heartless, I have never been raped myself, but have known people who have either been raped or sexually harassed and the act alone can be mentally detrimental. After a crime like this is committed against a woman the woman sometimes can’t even be touched by a man without the reoccurring thoughts. Just the thought of buying a separate abortion insurance for if a woman is raped is outrageous; most women can’t even afford a normal health insurance let alone extra insurance for something that might never happen, and to expect a person to buy abortion insurance just “in case” the crime happens is something that a person cannot mentally prepare for and frankly shouldn’t have to. I understand that a person who hasn’t been raped and is abusing the abortion option ought to be reprimanded because it should not be used as a form of birth control, but for someone is has been raped and impregnated against her will should have the right to abort if she decides that it is something she wants to do without have to purchase some crazy “abortion insurance”.

  24. I’d really like to hear everyone else’s thoughts on this topic.

  25. I agree that women should be insured if they are ever raped. This is a serious crime and should be taken seriously. No one deserves it. I don’t agree with abortion even if the person was raped. I mean if the person being raped is like 12 then maybe she could give up the child for adoption. I think this because it is not the victim or the unborn child’s fault so why should they have to suffer? Although the victim endured enough when they were being raped so I’m not sure if it is fair to pressure them into having the child. It really depends on the situation.

    • i see your point, the child is innocent and is a spark of a new life. having to keep the child is the bravest thing but i deeply believe that it comes down to the mother’s choice. two reasons why i would or wouldn’t keep the child. it’s a product of an evil act and i despise it. or it’s a product of an evil act yet its still a part of me, the part that is most important. the child is innocent and i will only think of the child as mine. if financial or age is an issue, adoption or abortion can both work. it really depends on the mother’s choice, we can only opinion-ate i suppose. i do not believe abortion or adoption is wrong at whatever age.

    • Abortion is a sensitive topic (in this country in particular) and I respect that people have different opinions about it. However, I do disagree with Delila’s opinion that abortion is wrong even after a rape.
      I have never been raped, so I can’t comment firsthand on the psychological effects that would have on someone, but I can only imagine how traumatizing it would be and that the wounds to your psyche would be there to haunt you for the rest of your life. However, I have been pregnant, and nothing else (besides rape perhaps) invades your mind and your body quite like that! I was lucky to have within me a wanted, loved child, and so the changes to my body, the pain, and all of the rest that comes with being pregnant (and having a baby if you don’t give it up) was tolerable. But, if I was carrying the results of a rape – the ultimate violation – inside of me, for 9 months, I would simply have gone crazy. I also think it would have been impossible for me to ever truly love that child. And can you imagine if the child ever found out that s/he was the result of such a horrible event? No, I think an abortion after a rape should be fully acceptable and presented as an option – without a side serving of morals – to all rape victims AND that it should be covered by insurance.

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