I don’t think you can ever totally stop rape, for the simple reason that there are always going to be bad people in the world and some of them will do bad things, no matter what precautions we take. On the other hand, history shows we can make a big difference in the prevelance of such crimes.
Parents should teach their kids about the birds and the bees and not leave them to find out for themselves, especially in this day and age where someone who is searching for information about sex can easily get addicted to pornography. This distorts the way women are perceived and women are objectified. I really don’t see this happening in the next 50 years, especially not in rural households or those of lesser means. We should do something about it. Think of what developing tech. can do in this arena.
Part of the solution has to be law enforcement. Make it clear that we, as a society will take very seriously and punish very aggressively any such assault. That means strong laws connected to strong punishments, investments in technology to identify rapists, such as evidence kits distributed to police stations and hospitals, training in investigation and genetic testing, etc. In most Western nations, this has led to a marked improvement in rates of rapists being caught.
Another and perhaps more important prong needs to be cultural. Women need to be taught and empowered both to take precautions to avoid rape and to address it when it happens. This is tricky, because it requires a culture in which women feel comfortable reporting such things and in which they have confidence that justice will be pursued. It’s estimated that a large majority of rapes go unreported. There are various reasons: they don’t think it will do any good, they’re afraid of retribution, they’re worried that they’ll be portrayed in a bad light, even if people believe them, they don’t want to be seen as a victim. Often it seems easier to just act like it never happened, which emboldens attackers to a terrible degree. That kind of assault affects people on such a sensitive and basic level that it doesn’t take much to scare them away from reporting it. You really need to build a whole culture in which victims of rape are supported and understood. Such trust is hard to build and easily shattered, so it takes a broad, concerted effort.
The final, and probably most important prong, is among men. Like any crime, there tends to be a bias towards enforcement, when also need actions toward prevention. Several sociologists have noted that attitudes towards women vary wildly among men, both between and within societies, and men who are not raised to respect women are far more likely to assault women. There are subcultures of men in which such assault is assumed to be a normal part of life, and they don’t even see it as anything particularly bad. That kind of horrible, twisted view on the world is what leads to men, even groups of men, brazenly carrying out such assaults. That’s the hardest thing to attack, but the only point of attack that will really make sexual assault truly uncommon. If we can educate men from an early age to develop healthy, respectful attitudes towards women. If they can’t find a group in which they aren’t frowned upon for disrespecting women, if the very idea of hurting a woman is seen with abhorrence from an early age, then women will be able to feel safe around them..