Tag Archives: date rape

Rape Culture

If a girl says no to sexual advances, it’s rape. If the girl can’t say no because she’s passed out, it’s still rape.

In case you missed it, on Jan. 1 Anonymous forced the hands of authorities who tried to minimize the crime that took place when a teenager was raped at a party this summer in Ohio.

New York Times reporters Juliet Macur and Nate Schweber had already posted  a solid story on the case that ran Dec. 17. Then after the Anonymous leaks the story broke nation-wide.

Spend some time looking at the comments following the initial CNN story, and you’ll know why I started my blog the way I did.

Today’s follow up concerns me more than anything else, I think.  From today’s story:

“On Thursday, the police chief who initially investigated the case before the Jefferson County prosecutor asked state officials to step in said he’s puzzled why no one intervened in the alleged assault.

“Why didn’t somebody stop it?” Steubenville police Chief William McCafferty said. “You simply don’t do that. … It’s not done.”

Someone might need to tell the police chief it IS done. ALL the time. And maybe it’s done all the time because most of the time the girls don’t go to the police. Maybe they don’t go to the police because instead of championing them, instead of saying we’re going to tell the truth about rape every day until people finally understand if they say no it’s rape, and if they’re drunk and can’t say no it’s still rape, we get this from the AG prosecuting:

“My heart goes out to the victim,” DeWine said. “The victim continues to be victimized every time something shows up on the Internet. There’s nothing I can do about that, but it is very, very sad.”

Newsflash: If something hadn’t shown up on the Internet, nothing would have happened. At least that’s the way it looks in the NYT story.

My heart goes out to the rape survivor, too. I hope she sees justice in a system that has a hard time dealing with acquaintance rape.

Here’s the deal. People go to parties. People drink. They shouldn’t have to worry that their “friends” are going to rape them because they’re drunk.

Here’s another deal: People, even teenagers, have the right to hook up…even if it’s casual. And that past sexual history should have no bearing on a case where they were raped.

I don’t know the facts about the Ohio case. I know I’ve seen this same thing play out over and over and over and every time people blame the girl and try to minimize the crime by saying she shouldn’t have…

When I was a freshman in college a police officer told us if a girl says no to sexual advances, it’s rape. If the girl can’t say no because she’s passed out, it’s still rape. At the time I wondered why on earth they had to tell us something so obvious. I wonder why we STILL have to say it.

***I’m not going to comment on Anonymous. That’s a whole different blog post.

 

 

1 in 5 women in Texas is a victim of sexual assault

•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
http://www.rainn.org/statistics/
•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:
sexual abuse
n.
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.

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*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.