•Every 2 minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted.
•54% of sexual assaults are not reported to the police
•97% of rapists will never spend a day in jail
•Approximately 2/3 of assaults are committed by someone known to the victim
•38% of rapists are a friend or acquaintance
•1 in 5 women in Texas is a victim of sexual assault
Call to get help: 1-800-658-2863
Recently our local paper ran a story about a teacher who’d been arrested for alleged sexual abuse. The paper allowed comments on the story to stay open and anonymous commenters gave enough information that the girl could easily be identified and then called her a slut, saying she was to blame, saying if she didn’t want to have sex she was old enough to say no.
Furious doesn’t begin to define my anger.
In college several friends were sexually abused. We called it date rape. It sounds nicer that way, I guess. I don’t think the people who coined the term meant to make it any less horrible than RAPE. When someone got date raped, they “learned their lesson.” No more going to parties and drinking too much or inviting guys to the dorm room. After all, the guys couldn’t help themselves and girls were to blame for sending mixed signals. I don’t know anyone who actually reported the crime–even the girls who were gang raped kept it to themselves and lived through the shame while the guys laughed about their “train” night. Yeah. They laughed, the girl got called a slut by guys and girls, and life went on. I’m pretty sure the same the same kind of thing happens today. Based on the comments about the “slutty” girl in the paper, I’d say it definitely still goes on today. It’s like a crime that includes sex isn’t a crime at all. Or maybe it’s that a crime that includes sex without the girl getting her face bashed in isn’t a crime at all.
Over the years I’ve watched so many people live through and recover from the stigma of being a sexual abuse victim. I’ve watched some people destroyed by it, and I’ve watched others refuse to let themselves stay victims. I hope more women will find the courage to speak up and say NO MORE. I understand why they don’t, though.
For the first time I understand the term slutwalk. I thought we were past this. I mean I was in college in the 80s, how can we STILL blame the abused?
Sexual abuse is a dirty little secret people don’t want to talk about. The Sandusky case has pushed it into the light, and I pray survivors race to get help while learning to give voice to the crime.
From slutwalknyc’s website:
No matter who you are
No matter where you work
No matter how you identify
No matter how you flirt
No matter what you wear
No matter whom you choose to love
No matter what you said before:
NO ONE has the right to touch you without your consent. SlutWalk NYC is part of a worldwide grassroots movement challenging rape culture, victim-blaming and slut-shaming, and working to end sexual and domestic violence.
From the dictionary:
1. The forcing of unwanted sexual activity by one person on another, as by the use of threats or coercion.
1. Sexual activity that is deemed improper or harmful, as between an adult and a minor or with a person of diminished mental capacity.
*One of my characters is a sexual abuse survivor. She was given some great advice from her CASA. You can be a victim or a survivor, the choice is yours. Now she helps others. I wish it were as easy to help others as writing a novel. It’s not. BUT you can help. Find your local shelter and donate or check out rainn.org. In Wichita Falls check out First Step.