TRIGGER WARNING: RAPE
So not only do we have tween “sensation” Justin Bieber’s comments (basically equating to “you got raped for a reason”), Nir Rosen’s comments about Lara Logan’s attack in Cairo (“Lara Logan had to outdo Anderson [Cooper] . . . at a moment when she is going to become a martyr and glorified we should at least remember her role as a major war monger. . . . Look, she was probably groped like thousands of other women, which is still wrong, but if it was worse than [that] I’m sorry.”), and a statement from a Toronto cop at a university essentially saying “don’t dress like a slut and you won’t be raped”.
On January 24th, a campus safety information session was held with campus security and two male cops from the Toronto police department, 31 Division. Ronda Bessner, who was present at the meeting, was shocked by what the officer told the women: “One of the safety tips was for women not to dress like ‘sluts.’ He said something like, ‘I’ve been told I shouldn’t say this,’ and then he uttered the words.”
Here are some statistics from RAINN:
* 60% of sexual assaults are not reported
* Approximately 73% of victims know their assailant
* 1 in 6 women, and 1 in 33 men, will be raped in their lifetime
* Every 2 minutes, someone in the USA is sexually assaulted
* Only 6% of rapists will ever spend a day in jail
Regardless of your class status, how you dress, how you smell, what job you have, nothing gives someone the right to violate your body. Never. Rape is always forcible, but we’ve been over that. But these attitudes stated above are part of the reason many victims do not come forward. For me, I was victimized by a preacher’s son. I was the daughter of a member of the local police department. Who was going to believe me? Who was going to believe that some 15yr old kid was really that sick and twisted, a preacher’s kid at that? And why wouldn’t a girl, who’s mother was on the force, feel comfortable coming forward?
Rapists thrive on power and fear. That’s why. And I was terrified.
When I did eventually report it (I didn’t care about statute or pressing charges, I just wanted it on the record of being reported), it was clear the cop who was “taking my statement” didn’t believe me. It had been years since everything happened, and I’ve tried to block out as much of it as possible, so only a few specific times stick out in my memory. It wasn’t good enough to be reliable, apparently. I still check arrest records trying to find out where he is. I do believe that he’d follow up on threats that he made over a decade ago if he knew where I was and had the opportunity. I’m positive I’m not alone in that feeling.
Unfortunately, I don’t think that statements like these or these attitudes are going to change any time soon. However, rape has decreased 60% since 1993 (another stat from RAINN). So maybe there’s a small hope. But I’m not going to hold my breath when rape culture is being promoted so heavily and, for the most part, without much of response or offered excuses.