03
Sep
08

let’s quit raping eachother, shall we?


POTENTIALLY TRIGGERING LANGUAGE/SITUATIONS

Recent conversations regarding rape among peers got me wondering about some cold hard facts, and after much research, I’ve dug some up. The majority of women I know, and myself as well, have been acquaintance raped. I am, of course, including persistent resistance defeated by coercion,

1. the act of coercing; use of force or intimidation to obtain compliance.

in my definition of rape, as verbal and emotional consent are hardly second cousins. What troubles me the most is the lack of open social dialog which seems to further stigmatize the survivors (not necessarily speaking in the mortality sense here). Maybe it is so shameful because rape is the closest you can ever really come to actually taking something from a person in a near spiritual sense. I suppose that all depends on your view on what humans are, but for the sake of this post, let us say humans have souls that are the mysterious root of our emotional person-hood, okay? Okay.

Onward.

Sexual aggression is not something I was ever told about growing up. I was never once told that I should never say yes to someone when I want to say no for fear of the no being ultimately disposed of or bringing on perceivable social consequence. I also have never been told NOT to do that to another person. In fact, shortly after my experience I repeated the behavior. The circumstances were muddy enough for my ego to play it off, but eventually I learned to call it what it was. For all I know the person I raped went and raped someone else. It just puzzles me the more I learn of how common sexual assault is, that sexuality and interpersonal dynamics are not more prominent family/social issues; visible, unstigmatized and talked out. For example:

Billy and Jane, now that you are growing up you may start to feel desires towards other people, but you need to know that it is never okay to force anyone to touch you or to be touched, and you never have to let someone force you to do things you don’t want. If someone you like wants you to do something you don’t want to, they are not being a very good friend and you need to tell someone.”

Now, I realize this only applies to less than 84% of reported assaults as some stranger rapes and adult to child rapes are simply beyond the victim’s control, but I feel that a broad anti-acquaintance-rape social mantra would drastically help bring the stats down:

In 2002: 247,730 sexual assaults were reported in the United States, 87,000 of which were completed rapes.

-84% of survivors know their rapists (acquaintance rape)

In 1999, only 28% of survivors reported the assault to police. (Criminal survivorization 2000: Changes 1999-2000 with Trends 1993-2000. Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice. June 2001.)

Let’s assume that the current figure for reported incidence is higher, say… 30% are reported now, according to the Bureau of Justice in 2005 the number of incidents of sexual assault including verbal threats was 513,480 with an estimated 70% unreported. Let’s do some math:

100 / 30 = 3.33

513,480 x 3.33 =

1,711,600 sexual assaults. Just think about what the global stats must be…

Fun. It’s estimated that 1 in 6 (or 1 in 4 depending on the report) women will experience sexual assault and 1 in 33 men.

One final note: in a survey of college girls, only 30% of women who had an experience meeting the legal definition of rape chose to label it as so, mainly because they had been drinking and violence was not used. I submit that sticking something inside a person’s body against their will is quite violent.

(reposted from June LJ) all stats from the Bureau of Justice website

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