Sexual Violence Against Women

Sexual violence is not something we should stop. It's something that we NEED to stop. But how?

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Sexual Violence Against Women

By Trudy Connors, Reporter

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“If you’re tired of reading stories about violence against women, imagine having to live them!”

 

The best way to end sexual violence against women is to prevent it from happening in the first place. How can you do this? It’s very simple, stop making excuses for rapists.

Society has made so many excuses for rape culture. When you think of rape culture, your mind automatically goes to rape, gang rape, molestation, murder, and violence. These are acts of explicit violence and the very dangerous. There are other levels of rape culture as well. Removal of autonomy: groping, dosing, safe word violations, convert condom removal, threatening, groping, and sexual coercion. Degradation: stalking/following, unsolicited nude pictures, cat-calling, and non-consensual photos. Normalisation: Rape jokes,”Boys will be boys”, sexist attitudes, victim blaming,”Girls should stay at home”,unequal pay, and “Locker room banter.” These are not isolated incidents! Attitudes and actions reinforce and this is systematic.

 

Cyntoia Brown, sentenced 51 years for gaining the courage to kill the pedophile she was sold to after being sex trafficked as a 15 year old. Brock Turner, sentenced 6 months for raping and assaulting an intoxicated unconscious woman. How is this okay? To punish someone who fought for their life, but to let someone who conflicts pain onto others walk freely after 6 months? Or the Steubenville rape case, two teenage boys raped a 16 year old girl and while she was unconcious and had a picture of her nude sent around the whole school.

 

These two incidents are just minor examples of what young females have to deal with on a regular basis. 1 out of 5 American Women have been the victim of attempted or completed rape. Rape cases are not being reported, less than half of all rapes are actually reported. So rapists aren’t being sent to jail. Only 3% of rapists spend even a day in jail. Colleges can be openly hostile to victims. Campus rape rates haven’t changed in the last 20 years. People think rape victims are making it all up. 2-8% of charges may be false. But students think up to 50% of rape reports are fabricated. Rapists can seek custody in majority of US states. In 31 states, convicted rapists can sue for custody and visitation rights. Politicans think women can’t get pregnant from rape. 32,000 women get pregnant from rape in the United States each year.

 

These are just some of the issues associated with rape and it’s effects on women. The worst part about it? How some people have the audacity to actually blame the victim of the crime. They say that their outfit made them look like they were “asking” for it. A women’s outfit has nothing to do with her consent. A women’s modesty has nothing to do with her self-respect or how she views herself. Women do not have to hide their bodies for the eyes of men. Us ladies have been doing that for quite a while, flashing ankles was viewed as scandalous at a certain point in history. Our bodies are not something to be ashamed of or have to hide. So to say that women are asking to be forced into sex because of their outfit is absolutely ridiculous! 

Another reason bigots blame the victim is saying they put themselves in that situation by drinking. If someone is not in their right state of mind, it is not an invitation to get into bed with them. Someone under the influence of alcohol is not making conscious decisions. Rape is UNWANTED sex and someone who is drinking is not able to give their consent. Women who drink are not asking for sex, they simply want to drink. To take advantage of someone while they are so vulnerable is completely twisted.

 

Sexual violence is such a huge problem and is so important to recognize. Speaking up can be scary, but empowering. Confronting these issues can be uncomfortable, but whenever you’re able to use your voice, you’re not only standing up for yourself, but for possibly dozens of others who’ve been offended by the same type of experience, or even by the same person. Sexual harassers are a lot like bullies. They like preying on others because it feels like they are asserting their power. Standing up to a bully catches them by surprise, causing the power to shift so that I become the one in control of the situation. It’s important for women–and men–to not only speak up against unacceptable behavior, but also to share their stories afterward, no matter how they manage to respond.

You are strong, fierce, and amazing. I believe we can come together and end this evil.

 

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