The Rape Abuse and Incest National Network

Published: 2021-08-15 23:35:06
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Did you know that according to RAINN, every ninety-eight seconds, another person experiences sexual assault (Types of Sexual Violence). Or that rape culture is an environment in which sexual violence is normal but excused in the media (Rape Culture…).? Rape culture is something that needs to be solved. Though, it is a significant problem in American society. That is due to many different things, such as: rape on college campuses, victim blaming, and the accepted misogynistic behavior seen in our society.
Rape is a huge problem on college campuses. 11.2% of all students experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation (among all graduate and undergraduate students) (Types of Sexual Violence). That just shows how many students experience this tragedy. Imagine the pain that that they go through, not only the victim but the victim’s family too. Imagine how the victim has to deal with this. They may still have to see the person who did those awful things to them. Many may not have even known that it was going to happen. Again, according to RAINN, the majority of assaults occur in places ordinarily thought to be safe, such as homes, cars, and offices (Types of Sexual Violence’s). Just proves that the victim would not have even known that it was going to happen because they thought that they were safe. They never would’ve thought that something like that could happen in their own home, car, or in their workplace. Sadly, it happens a lot. This is why the issue of rape needs to be addressed. Also, according to RAINN, 4.2% of students had reported experiencing stalking since they had entered college (Types of Sexual Violence). Now, why is that? Perpetrators were on the lookout for new victims. Though, is it the victim’s fault?
Sexual assault can take many different forms and be defined in different ways, but one thing remains the same: it’s never the victim’s fault (RAINN). Victim blaming is another big issue that has to do with rape. Also, according to RAINN, only twenty percent of female student victim’s, age eighteen to twenty-four, report to law enforcement (Types of Sexual Violence). That could have to do with victim blaming. The victim feels like everything will come back on them and again, it is not their fault. Or they could be scared to tell the law enforcement. Again, according to RAINN, Perpetrators may use emotional coercion, psychological force, or manipulation to coerce a victim, into non-consensual sex. Some perpetrators will use threats to force a victim to comply, such as threatening to hurt the victim or their family or other intimidation tactics (Types of Sexual Violence). The perpetrators use this tactic to scare the victims so that they will not tell on them. Though, society plays a huge role in victim blaming, too. According to Southern Connecticut University, that by engaging in victim-blaming attitudes, society allows the abuser to perpetrate relationship abuse or sexual assault while avoiding accountability for his/her actions (Rape Culture…). The abuser gets away with doing the crime more and more in today’s society. And that is what is horrible. As a society, everyone should come together and help solve this issue. Another issue, that also needs to be solved as a society, is the hatred men have toward women.
The accepted misogynistic behavior seen in our society today is ridiculous. The hatred that is shown all through society is what gets people. And that is what drives sexual assault or rape to happen in our world today. Also, according to Southern Connecticut State University, Sexual assault is motivated by hostility, power, and control (Rape Culture…). In society, not all but some men have a strong hatred toward women. Rape culture is perpetuated through the use of misogynistic language, the objectification of women’s bodies, and the glamorization of sexual violence, thereby creating a society that disregards women’s rights and safety (Rape Culture…). Women are beginning to not feel safe in our society. Men are starting to target these particular women because they are aware of the unsafe and scared feeling, almost as if they are expecting it. As stated before, the objectification of women’s bodies, is a big issue. What’s unfortunate is when woman or young girls choose to wear more revealing clothing, maybe even to feel more confident with their bodies, since the body image in today’s society is not ideal nor healthy. So young girls can be pinned because of the clothing; that’s why some rape may occur. That’s not what causes rape, that’s the society and the media putting that into everyone’s mind. What about all the woman that got abducted from their homes? Or the young girls walking home from school that got off the bus? The reason rape happens is because of those sick people that have a mental disability or need some type of therapeutic help. Men or women, doesn’t matter the gender, the clothing, or the type of body. Nobody wants to get raped, most don’t promote it. So those who target women for clothes or their figure, need to conduct some more research before speaking. Next, is the disrespect of women that has seemed to become common in today’s society, seems to make rape as not a huge issue. Just as said before, the rape culture is perpetuated through the use of misogynistic language… It seems like a joke to refer to women in a demeaning manner or call disrespectful names. It is almost common now, and not seen as an issue, it is just something that is socially okay. It shouldn’t be but in today’s society, it is. Even recently, there was a case where the court ruled someone not guilty because of the clothing that the female was wearing. Even disrespected her by holding up her thong that she was wearing that night as evidence that she was asking for it.
Rape culture is a significant problem in American society. This is evident when discussing the high incidence of rape on college campuses, victim blaming, and the accepted misogynistic behavior seen in our society.
Honestly, many are not really educated on what rape culture really is. Rape culture is when sexual violence against women is normal and is accepted in the media and popular culture. The topic of the culture of rape is not just sex. That is one of the many misconceptions when people hear the topic. The culture is another way of sexualizing women when not necessary or needed by men. Many schools prohibit young females to show any type of shoulder, or even jeans with holes. The young men’s dress code has very few regulations. A female student can be asked to change attire and or leave the school property in its entirety. A male student can wear a cut out shirt, exposing the stomach and full on arm with no consequences. Even something as simple as a dress code at middle or high school is sexualizing the females. That is what Is accepted and found socially appropriate though in today’s society. That it is out of a social normality if a male could get reprimanded for their clothing, that is a hidden formality of rape culture that is being promoted every day.
Just the term rape culture, was started when feminists from the seventies released a film Rape Culture, to raise awareness of the normalization of sexual violence in society.(History of Rape Culture) The documentary was the first to ever bring attention to the major issues of rape culture. Feminist Alana Prochuk states, We need to notice this stuff, get outraged, and share our outrage with others. Staying aware of rape culture is painful work, but we can’t interrupt the culture of violence unless we are willing to see it for what it is(History of Rape Culture) That is dating back all the way to the seventies, which is still a topic to this day. Even though rape culture has been classified the actual idea of rape culture was still in existence throughout history in stories, shared between members of Ancient Greek, Medieval and Victorian Societies.(History of Rape Culture) Not to mention the help with the social media platform that is able to feed the livelihood of the culture as well. Which is something that has caused the glamorization of the culture to blow up as well. It’s On Us. The role of social media and rape culture in individual willingness to mobilize against sexual assault.(Cory Armstrong) That meaning that the reason it has become so much of a globalized issue, is the platform that social media has for rape culture is a big part of it being as big of a problem as it is. Which only means that it can only get worse from here with technology always on the come up.
On the other hand, we can always discuss ways to prevent the abusive consistencies in the rape culture that has happened today. It is so accepted in today’s social media frenzy for it to be acceptable to objectify women or men. Anyone who is anyone can think before they speak, or post that even though it might be harmless to you, it could be very emotionally degrading to any men or woman that comes across it. Any man or woman should be respectful of others’ physical space even in casual situations. (Rape culture, victim blaming, and the facts) Someone’s level of comfort with space could always be different from yours, being extremely mindful and aware of that could help many more individuals feel safer. The pressure woman feel on a woman to be sexy and sexually active is a pressure that can really take a toll on them. Always allow a female the right to her privacy and that giving consent is always up to them and that is perfectly okay. Publicly scrutinizing a victims dress, mental state, motives and history,( Rape culture, victim blaming, and the facts) is something that is more popular. Harassing woman and creating comments about the outfit they choose to wear and or their body type is something that falls under the rape culture topic. Clothing is not consent, and neither is the body type.
Something that is also very important to remember, women are not the only ones that can get raped and contribute to the rape culture that is before us today. False reports on men in today’s world has become extremely popular. Many women have filed false rape reports that can very possibly end an innocent man’s family, life and career. That is a giant portion of what contributes to feeding the rape culture. It can be a very scary world to live in as a man to go knowing that anything they may do could lead to someone accusing them and everything in their life coming to a screeching halt. There is a stigma that only weak men get raped. The culture aspect includes gender norms that validate men as sexual pursuers and attitudes that view women as sexual conquests by which manhood is legitimized and women are objectified.(The Conversation) Rape culture has also played a big role in the contribution of it being always the women that are the ones being targeted. It makes that more strenuous for the male victim to come forward about the incident. It is considered sexual harassment by justifying that manhood is dominate and sexually aggressive. There is always an underlying pressure on men to score one. It has also become acceptable to accept boys will be boys as some justification for the actions of rape and or sexual harassment. There are many institutions that feed rape culture,(The Conversation) as well. There also seems to be a very strong stigma attached to campus fraternities, which is where rape culture can thrive. (The Conversation) Looking at the facts, most of the victims of domestic abuse are women, men are just as equally at risk for sexual abuse as well as anyone else. Men can face the same obstacles but in a different sense then the women do. Many do not believe that men or raped or can as well be sexually assaulted.
Next, something that is highly overlooked is the dating and the marriage perspective in the rape culture realm. As many as one-third of all high school and college-age young people experience violence in an intimate or dating relationship. Physical abuse is as common among high school and college-age couples as married couples.(Rape culture, victim blaming, and the facts) Rape culture also the minds to believe that even if you are married to the person or have been with the significant other for a long period of time that rape and sexual assault cannot happen. It is just as high as younger aged people because of that belief influenced by the culture. Just because you are married to a person, does not mean you always give consent. Which equally goes for the man and the woman.
Honestly, the power bystanders could have on the effects of rape culture is extremely important. It is crucial that children be taught from a young age to not be a silent bystander. As said by Wendy Westgate, rape culture will not change until silent bystanders start speaking up. Learning to understand what the red flags is when you see someone in potential danger and intervening to help is something critical in today’s society. People are often afraid on how to intervene on situations safely, which there are many ways to attempt to do so. Those steps can include: telling another person, ask the victim if he/she is okay, call the police and or ask the person if he/she wants to leave. Tips that need to be taught to young kids and everyone all around when going out are vital as well. Even older adults need to be reminded just for the event of an emergency to prevent the normalization of rape culture. Those tips could be: having a plan, going out as a group, watching out for others , diffuse situations and trusting your instincts. Those are the things social media also needs to be marketing everywhere, so that everyone can stay as safe as possible wherever they might be.
Lastly, rape culture as stated is a significant problem throughout the chapters of history. The normalization of sexually abusive nature is a trend that needs to be ended as abruptly as possible. Everyone needs to become as aware of the issues of rape culture as they are with the popularity of the culture. No one should ever feel like the behavior they see before them on social media is socially acceptable and or a social norm. No one, should ever have to feel like their right to their body is taken away from them because of what is normalized. No one, no matter the gender, age, body type or appearance should have to experience a part in the rape culture that is before us today. Be someone who makes the difference in someone’s life, and everyone else’s in the future.
Works Cited
“”Types of Sexual Violence.”” Types of Sexual Violence | RAINN. N.p., 2016. Web. 18 Apr. 2018. https://www.rainn.org/get-help
“”Rape Culture, Victim Blaming, and the Facts.”” Southern Connecticut State University, 2016. Web. 1 Dec. 2018. http://www.southernct.edu/sexual-misconduct/facts.html
History of Rape Culture. A History of Rape Culture, historyofrapeculture.weebly.com/history-of-rape-culture.html.
Be an Active Bystander. UNH Today, 1 Aug. 2017, www.unh.edu/sharpp/bystander.
Washington, Faye. Rape Culture Will Not Change until Silent Bystanders Start Speaking Up. Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 2 Dec. 2017, www.latimes.com/opinion/readersreact/la-ol-le-stopping-sexual-violence-20171202-story.html

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