• Courageous Curls Media

The threat of sexual assault, rape, towards women

Written by: Hannah Forsythe

TRIGGER WARNING

Imagine you are in a room. There are probably 20 people in this room, half of them female. According to statistics, two of these women have been or will be raped in their lifetime. There is an 80% chance that one of these women will be violated before the age of 25, 42% chance that it could happen before the age of 18.


This is the reality that we, as females, live in. We live in this scary reality that there is a very high chance we will be sexually assaulted in our lifetime. But why is that? Why is it that we must live in fear and must be taught to protect ourselves at a young age? Why do parents have to be terrified to send their daughters off to college because they fear their little girl might be raped? Why do I- and many other females- have to walk fast at night, our heads down, arms wrapped around our body, gripping our car keys in our hands? All of this because we fear a man could pop out of nowhere and do the unimaginable.


In 2020, the year of what I’d like to think is growth and change, people still suffer from this horrid crime every single day. Women feel so scared, shameful, and disgusting that 60% of these crimes will go unreported. And out of the ones that are reported and go to court? There is only a 16.3% chance that the rapist will go to prison.

16.3% chance. Let that sink in.


These women will go on with their lives, most of them having to deal with the fact that their rapist walks free. She’ll be scared to let anyone touch her again, especially men. It’ll take years for her to even come to terms with the fact that she was indeed raped and that her rapist walks free.


Those women shouldn’t have to live like that.

But it’s not just women who are affected by rape, men are too. Though the numbers aren’t as high and only 3% of men will be affected- that is still 3% too many. American men are told to hide their emotions and “man up.” When something like this happens to a man, no one believes it. “A man can’t be raped!” Is what they’ll all say. And even if someone does believe it? They’ll be told to “man up” and not talk about it.


As Gen Z, we are the future of this country. We’ll soon be the ones to make the laws and run the country. We’re the generation that fights for change and equality. We fight for everyone to be treated fairly and hope for every person to feel safe. That’s why we need to speak up about the rape crisis. No woman will ever feel safe until rapists are abolished. ‘

And if you think about it realistically and take a hard look at the statistics: there will never be an abolishment of rape/ sexual assault/ sexual harassment. It will always be something that haunts people. But now is the time to start helping the victims. Listen to their stories and believe them till they prove you otherwise. Let men admit that they were violated without the fear of being made fun of. Don’t just say “oh you poor thing” and victimize the girl. Show her that she is a survivor and help her.


But even with saying all of this, violent rape isn’t the only type we need to prioritize. Yes, the violent kind is the worst kind and I am not degrading the seriousness of it at all. But what about statutory rape? Imagine your 14-year-old sister in a relationship with an 18-year-old boy. She is still so young and naive that she has no idea what a real relationship should be. The boy? He’s probably been with a few girls and knows the ropes. Of course, she’d consent to sex in the relationship- she thinks he loves her. But she can’t consent. This boy is raping her without even knowing and the girl is under the age of consent. She’ll look back years later in shock, realizing that she was violated without even knowing it.


There are tons of different kinds of sexual assault ( There will be a list with examples at the end of this article to help those who are struggling.) and every single kind needs to be taken seriously. This decade is the time for us to start raising awareness and stop punishing the survivors.


Types of Rape

  • Diminished capacity: occurs when the person has an intellectual disability or is intoxicated, therefore they can not consent.

  • Statutory: occurs when a person is under the age of consent.

  • Incest: when a person is violated by someone in their close family (grandparent, parent, aunt, uncle.)

  • Partner: occurs with a romantic partner/ former romantic partner. There are three types:

  • Battering rape – involving both physical and sexual violence

  • Force-only rape – involving the imposition of power and control over another Obsessive/Sadistic rape – involving torture and perverse sexual acts

  • Acquaintance; the two people know each other (also known as date rape.)

  • Aggravated: defined by law

  • Forced sex acts by the threat of death or serious bodily injury

  • Forced sex acts involving an unconscious or drugged victim

  • Sex acts with children under the age of 12


Cover photo: https://www.alphaomicronpi.org/education/april-is-sexual-assault-awareness-month/


Photo in article: https://time.com/5836774/trump-new-title-ix-rules/

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