A woman’s value does not rest on the fact she means something to you.
When people start to talk about sexual violence, people start to hide. No one wants to talk about it. It makes them feel uncomfortable.
Not talking about rape and other forms of sexual violence encourages a culture of silence, stigmatisation and shaming that victims have to live with while the perps go on with their merry lives violating even more people.
On the issue of false reports, only about 2% of reported cases are found to be false. So, if, say, 10 people accuse someone of rape or sexual violence, at least 8 are probably true.
Here are some stats for you to consider:
- 44% of sexual assault victims are under 18
- Every 2 minutes, one person is being sexually assaulted
- 60% of sexual assaults are not reported to the police
- Approximately 2/3 of assaults are committed by someone known to the victim
So following this, someone you know has probably been sexually abused by someone you know. Think about it.
People need to stop running away from discussing these issues. They happen every day. If you don’t know anything about it, then read, listen to the victims who are willing to speak out, educate yourself and then educate others. You want to help? This is how You can help
People need to stop making excuses for rapists.
“What were you wearing?” “Why were you there so late?” “Why were you drunk?” “Why didn’t you fight him off?” “.. but he’s a pastor” “but he’s her dad/stepdad” “… but boys can’t be raped” “… but he’s a well respected man in the society. He would never do that!”
Rapists are not monsters under your bed or lurking in the street corners (in most cases). They are people you know. People you look up to. They are people. Anyone can perpetrate sexual violence and anyone can be a victim.
A lot of people don’t report rape and other forms of sexual violence because they know that everything will be scrutinized, they will be shamed for their sexual history, and they will be labeled as lunatic, psychotic, paranoid, and manipulative. (as in the current case of Bill Cosby). Just because someone does not report their crime does not mean it did not happen.
I like this article on the silence surrounding rape
It doesn’t matter if the incident occurred 50 years ago or 5 minutes ago. It happened. That is all. Telling someone to “Let it go, it happened ages ago” is not only insensitive but stupid. When one person speaks, others are encouraged to speak out too.
Remove your head from the sand and accept the reality that people are living with.
There are too many occurrences of rape for people to not talk about it.
PS: As much as I think we need to remove the silene around rape, I also think that people shouldn’t be forced to share their stories. Encouraged? Yes. But stop making it a must. It took me about 8 years to be able to talk about my experience. Some people never get over it and it traumatises them forever. Forcing them to talk about it does not help.
And how about we all read this article on harassment: A Gentleman’s Guide To Street Harassment