BY LINDA CRYER
Study of Long-Term Psychological
Impact of Rape
In a recent study presented at the Fourth
National Victim Services Conference, Drs.
Ann Burgess and Lynda Holmstrum reported the following results:
Of the 81 rape victims they recon-
tacted four to six years after the assault,
37 percent reported that they felt recovered in 0-12 months, 37 percent took
1-6 years to recover and 24 percent did
not yet feel recovered;
Rape, after four to six years, was
ranked eight, nine, and 10 on a scale of
one to 10, by a majority of victims as
a stress in their lives and;
Victims reported the most common
delaying factors to recovery were prior
victimization, chronic life stresses, prior
problems compounded by rape, style of
attack, reestablishment of safety afterwards, and primary relationship or sexual
Common Circumstances in the Houston
Area Involved in Recent Rape Attacks
1. Walking in a Parking Garage
This 18-year-old woman had gone to a
party at a friend's house. She left the
party to go home and walked to her car
which was parked in the lower level of
the parking garage. As she was about to
step into her car, the suspect grabbed her.
She immediately tried to physically
defend herself by hitting the suspect
in the face. The suspect then hit her in
the face with his fist, knocking her to
the ground. He then pulled her dress
up, pulled his pants down and raped
2. Failing to Lock Back Door
This 41-year-old woman was sitting
in the den watching television when
the suspect entered the house through an
unlocked back door. The suspect displayed a gun and ordered the woman into
one of the bedrooms. He removed several
strands of cord from his boot and tied
the woman's hands behind her back.
The suspect then took several pieces of
the woman's jewelry. He then attempted
to rape the woman who begged him to go
in another room so that her children
would not observe them. The suspect
then led the woman at gunpoint to the
stairs in the house. The suspect then
stood over her, placed his penis in her
mouth and forced her to commit oral
sodomy. The suspect was wearing a ski
mask and gloves throughout the entire
3. Walking in a Parking Lot
This 29-year-old woman had just
parked her car and was walking to a club.
Four suspects approached her, covered
her mouth with her hands and forced her
into a car. They took her to an unknown
location and raped her repeatedly.
4. Jogging in an Open Field
This 53-year-old woman was jogging
when 2 suspects approached her. She
asked them what they wanted. The suspects said nothing. When they got close
enough to touch her, they yanked her
blouse over her head and dragged her to a
cluster of trees. They threw her down and
pulled down her pants. One of the suspects stated "if you are not good to me, I
will break your teeth out." Then both
suspects raped her.
5. Leaving a Window Open
This 30-year-old woman had a broken
Dr. Linda Oyer is administrator of the
City of Houston's Rape Treatment,
Detection and Prevention Program.
air conditioner. She left a window open
with a fan blowing in front of it. The
suspect entered her home through this
window. She was looking through some
clothes in her closet when the suspect
grabbed her and tried to pull her pants
down. He then grabbed her around the
throat, pulled her out of the closet and
threw her on the bed. He pulled her
pants down almost to her knees. She
then started reciting religious phrases.
The suspect then got up and walked out
of the room.
6. Walking out of a Store
This 23-year-old woman was just walking out of a store when the suspect
walked up to her and stated his intentions
to rape. He then displayed a knife. The
woman told the suspect that he was not
going to do anything to her. The suspect
then ran away.
7. Failing to Lock Car Door
This 30-year-old woman was parked
on the street waiting for a friend. The
suspect approached her car and got inside
on the passenger side. He displayed a
gun, pointed it at the woman and told
her to drive where he directed her. He
then told her to stop. She tried to step
on the gas and he put the car in park.
He then raped her. After the rape, he
demanded money. When she stated she
didn't have any, he hit her on the head
and pushed her out of her car. He then
8. Providing Assistance to a Stranger
One 18-year-old teenager answered the
doorbell in her apartment. The suspect
asked her where the manager's office was.
She told him and he left. He then
returned and asked for a glass of water.
She gave it to him. He then asked to use
her phone. She allowed him into her
apartment. He went to her phone, picked
up the receiver, put it down, and told her
he needed the information directory.
When she went to the closet to get it,
he came up behind her, put his hand
over her mouth and told her not to
scream or he would kill her. He then
forced her into the bedroom, took a
pillow case off a pillow and put it over
her face. He then raped her.
Another 20-year-old woman answered
the doorbell in her house. The suspect
asked if her house had been sold. She
stated that it had. The suspect then asked
if she knew of any other house available
in the area. She stated she did not. He
then asked if she worked during the day.
She told him she didn't. In the course
of the conversation, she asked him about
certain car dealers where she could buy a
car. He wrote down a list of dealers he
knew. He then slapped the woman with
the back of his hand and covered her
mouth when she tried to scream. He
then dragged her into the bedroom of her
house and raped her. He finally left after
stealing her television.
9. Walking on the Sidewalk
This 16-year-old girl argued with her
boyfriend in his car. She became angry,
left" his car and began walking home.
Three suspects in a truck drove up to
her and asked continuously if she wanted
a ride. She kept refusing. Then all of a
sudden all three suspects jumped out of
the truck, grabbed her by the hair and
forced her onto the bed inside the truck.
Then one suspect aimed a gun at her
breasts and said "Take off your clothes if
you don't want a hole blown through
your chest." The suspects then raped
her. While one of the suspects was raping
the victim, the other suspects laughed
and called her a "whore."
Description of Selected Assailants Suspected of Committing Multiple Rapes
From 1978 through 1979, Houston
went from 1098 reported rape incidents
to 1481, a 34.9 percent increase. The
Houston Police Department reports that
their clearance rate for apprehending rape
suspects in 1979 was 42.1%.
Race: Black male with close cut dark hair
Height: 5'10", 5' 11"
Age: Approximately 25-28 years
Weight: 160-170 lbs.
This man breaks in a home with a
vulnerable door or window. He may
carry a towel over his face and put it
over the prospective victim's face. He
carries a visibly displayed knife and uses
stockings to tie the victim's hands and
feet. He tells his victims to "shut up,"
commits vaginal penetration and oral
sodomy, and then asks the victim if it
Spring Branch Area
Race: Black male, thin build, clean
shaven with short afro. May wear dark
leather cap, sunglasses, bluejeans, and a
Age: middle 20s
Usually between the hours of 11
a.m. to 2:30 p.m., this man knocks
on prospective victim's door and may
ask if she knows where a certain person
lives or where a certain apartment
number is located. Before the victim
completes her answer, the assailant forces
his way into her apartment, produces a
knife, ties her hands with a cord, may
blindfold her with a towel or pillowcase,
and rapes her. He will then rob her and
threaten to kill her if she tells anyone
about the crime.
Race: Mexican/American with dark blue
ski mask with possible red trim. He has
been described as having dark eyes, possible scar on left forearm, green jacket,
bluejeans, and brown tennis shoes.
Height: 5'8"-5' 10"
Age: Approximately 25 years
Weight: 140-170 lbs.
Victims of this assailant(s) have been
confronted in the morning and at night,
jogging at school, walking on a sidewalk,
by answering a knock at the front door,
and in a parking lot. This individual(s)
displays a knife and holds his victims by
the back of the neck. The victim jogging
at school was raped in a nearby pasture.
The victim walking on a sidewalk to her
car was forced into her vehicle and told
to "shut up or I will cut your head off."
He then took his mask off and put it on
her face backwards. She was subsequently
raped in high grass in a field. The victim
answering a knock at the door was told
she had "sexy legs," and to keep her
eyes closed. The assailant then put his
ski mask on her face backwards and
orally sodomized her. One victim
described him as having a detectable
Spanish accent. The victim in the parking
lot was confronted with a knife and told
"It is not safe to walk around at night . . .
this is your time." She was forced to
drive the assailant to a park where she
was orally sodomized and raped.
If you have any information about
these assailants, call 222-3651 and ask
for a member of the rape squad.
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