Rape is rape and it is wrong. No excuse should be made for it.
The heinous act of rape is one of the most common and yet continually under-reported crimes in the world. Most perpetrators of sexual violence and abuse, regardless whether the victim is male or female, are men, but most campaigns against rape are still targeted at women.
Sadly, more often than not, these campaigns tend to spend a whole lot of time telling women how to avoid rope, like sexual violence was just like the stomach flu. Research however suggests that the majority of sexual assaults happen when a victim knows the attacker, making the common “put your keys between your hands” advice well-intentioned, but not entirely effective.
When we are not telling women they are responsible to stop rape, we blame them for falling at the hands of it. Many rape survivors are still held largely responsible by school officials, the media, the police force and judicial system. Women are being punished for getting raped, stoned to death in some countries and forced to marry their rapist in others.
Apart from that, there are also the insidious societal effects. If police are publicly telling women to “not dress like sl*ts” to prevent rape, and judges are openly considering a rape victim’s perceived promiscuity during the sentencing, it is to no surprise that 97% of rapist will never spend a day behind bars. We are living in a world where the burden of proof lies solely on the victim’s shoulders.
But then again, despite all this sl*t-shaming and victim-blaming, there is still hope. You know what they say, every cloud has a silver lining. Many courages women nowadays are taking the initiative and have started fighting back against these stigmas and misconceptions. These efforts are seen in countless of women who have demonstrated on behalf of rape victims.
Here are some samples of the women who have used their words to fight rape culture’s ugliest delusions: