In honor of the month of April which is Sexual Assault Awareness month, something a lot of people apparently forgot or did not bother acknowledge. It is quite ridiculous that more attention was giving to the day April 20th. Snapchat even created a filter or effect to recognize April 20th but did nothing the whole month for sexual harassment awareness. Where exactly do our priorities lie as a society?
We give more appraisal to a day because it is somehow connected to weed but do nothing an entire month that informs society that Sexual Assault is still a thing and it is on the rise.
It was hard to decide the main focus of my article for this week. I knew it needed to be related to sexual assault, but I did not know what exactly to write about that would be able to convince people to understand why Sexual Assault is a very serious issue. I even had a conversation with myself.
“Should I write about the statistics? That should get their attention. They need to know that:”
80% of rape victims are under the age of 30
44% under the age of 18.
Every 107 seconds an American is sexually assaulted
68% of sexual assaults are not reported
98% of rapist will not spend a day in jail
4 out of 5 rapes were committed by someone known to the victim
As I continued to build on this, it dawned on me that perhaps I was reaching out to the wrong people. I should not have to plead with people to stand up against rape or to do something (Check with RAINN) to aid the movement. Therefore, I have decided to aim this article towards the victims of sexual assault.
My main purpose is to let rape victims everywhere know these two things; it is not your fault and it is okay to reach out.
It Is Not Your Fault.
Why is this even a thing? If I had not encountered people who have opinions that support blaming the victim, I would argue that no one could be heartless enough to tell a victim of any assault, “It was your fault.” The common justification for rape is the ridiculous idea that the victim was asking for it because of their outfit ("she was wearing a skirt," "she was not covered up," "he was sagging his pants"). In wanting to see the depth of ignorance, I ventured to have a conversation with a person of this ridiculous mindset. He explained that a woman’s body is the temple of God and that if she did not treat is as such “she gets what she deserve.” Of course, he went in depth, but I held on to the part where he said: “she gets what she deserve.” It’s interesting how people twist the word of God to support sick beliefs like this, but that is a writing for another time. I wanted to curse him out. I wanted to give up on educating him. I wanted to ask God why people like him don’t experience sexual assault so that they could know . . .
But I didn’t. Instead, I told him about the 6-week-old baby that was raped in 2013
the 13-year-old girl that was gang raped in India
the 4-year-old that was raped in Kenya
the 13-year-old boy raped by two grown men and left to roam the street pantless.
The boys who were raped by their Coach … to mention a few
Then I concluded, they must have deserved it too; the ones in their diapers, their little fragile bodies must have been too seductive for their rapist. They definitely did not honor their body for God, so disregard the cries for their parents and all they felt … they all deserve it. And he said, “that’s different.”
Our conversation came to an end, there is a limit to how much ignorance my sanity can entertain, but he was right about one thing. There is a big different in being sexually assaulted as an adult and as a child. It is simply that the child is yet to know how scarred she/he is emotionally, mentally, physically… while an adult has an idea. Do not try to figure out which is more brutal, you have a better chance of determining whether or not the chicken or the egg existed first.
If you are a victim, please look in front of a mirror and repeat to yourself as many times as it takes to sink in; IT IS NOT MY FAULT, I DID NOT DESERVE IT, I DID NOT ASK TO BE VIOLATED AND I DID NOT GIVE CONSENT TO HAVE MY SECURITY BREACHED. The problem with rape lies with the rapist and nothing else. Dear victims of sexual assault female and male, your clothing, location, age, alcohol use . . . is not reason enough to be sexually assaulted. Nothing is reason enough!
It Is Okay to Reach Out.
Earlier in my life, when sexual assault victims would not open up about their assaults in movies or in reality, I remember always getting mad “why won’t they put their perpetrator in Jail?” “Do they want the same thing to happen to someone else?” “Who chooses to suffer in silence?” Over time, after discussing with a few victims and reading about it, I realized reaching out is not as easy as I thought. Matter of fact, there is almost no choice in it. I learned it takes more to admit that someone (known or unknown) has wrecked your wall of security, that someone violated your will. And it has nothing to do with pride or strength, it is just hard to reach out, especially in a society that would consider blaming the victim. What makes it harder is that sometimes one could reach out and get nothing. Reach out to Justice and have your rapist get 90 days in Jail like 17-year-old Alyssa from Colorado who was raped by her stepfather. Reach out to society and get condemned or blamed for being a victim. Reach out and be disregarded, labeled and even considered weak. Reach out and find yourself silenced more than ever.
It is sad, redundant and unfair; but even sadder is that someone else could experience what you went through or worse if you do nothing at all; what is sadder is that you let the pain, torment and memories eat you inside out and keep you up at night while your perpetrator searches for the next person to torture; what is sadder is that you are left in the bondage of the scars while the one who hurt you lives freely; what is sadder is that you might never feel secure again while your rapist fears nothing.
Please reach out, for the sake of the people you could save, for the possibility that justice might do what is right and most importantly for YOU!
Rape is murder, it is killing a person female and male, emotionally, mentally, socially, psychologically . . . and forcing them to live with it. How does a dead person live?
Rape is one of, if not the most, brutal and atrocious form of violence one could experience. It is absurd that any rapist can get away. It is even more absurd that I am including now that RAPE needs to be taken more serious by society and the Justice System. Because it’s not!