27 Times Rape Victims Got Taken Advantage Of, And Not Just By Their Rapist

27 Times Rape Victims Got Taken Advantage Of, And Not Just By Their Rapist

Every minute 24 people experience violence from their intimate partners in the U.S.
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I've been hearing about wrong-doers getting away with their criminal actions since before I knew O.J. stood for Orenthal James.

From the wrongly accused getting put away to letting the unlawful walk, the U.S. court system keeps letting us down. Victims of rape, domestic violence and sexual abuse resonate with this struggle too often. Unfortunately, it's not just the court system that keeps failing rape victims, it's all of us.

The term "rape culture" has been introduced and shared throughout feminist circles to describe a poor social conditioning that is experienced culturally. It refers to a set of actions that affect every woman. Don't get me wrong, rape culture also includes trans and gender non-conforming people (and cis men), at disturbingly high rates.

I understand it's a people's issue — gender aside. However, it's not a secret that rape culture affects women on a much broader scale.

The simple fact that most women limit their behaviors because of the existence and possibilities of rape, says more than I ever could. Compared to men, more females live in fear of rape. Women think twice about the short skirt they wear, while men have no issue streaking in public.

Rape culture showcases rape as prevalent and sexual violence against women as normal or excused in the media and popular culture. It's about a ridiculous amount of cultural practices that we, unfortunately, all take part in as a society. Rape culture refers to situations in which sexual assault and rape are normalized.

Rape victims get taken advantage of every day, and not just by their perpetrators. If we can't understand how our society normalizes rape, sexual assault, or domestic violence, how can we expect positive change? Skewed interpretations of what rape culture means make it easier to deny it's happening and harder to prevent it. The examples below are more than just anecdotal or isolated incidents, rather they are small parts of a large societal trend.

Rape culture is…

1. Adding pressure to victims to speak up about their rape because their rape kit has an expiration date.

2. A pop song telling young girls “blurred lines" (consent) means everyone “you know you want it.

3. A judge sentencing a 50-year-old man to just 30 days in jail because the 14-year-old girl he raped was “older than her chronological age."

4. Offering support to athletes who are charged with rape, because their victims basically ruined their careers.

5. Companies creating decals of women bound and tied to bring in new clientele and “promote their business."

6. The justice system that fails to hold rapists accountable for their actions.

7. People who blame survivors instead of the perpetrators.

8. Sayings like “boys will be boys."

9. Sayings like “if he ignores you or is mean to you it means he likes you."

10. Simply assuming sexual assault cases are usually false, when in fact only 2-8 % are.

11. Journalists who think it's okay to use the words “sex" and “rape" interchangeably. They are NOT the same.

12. Politicians who say rape is “something that God intended to happen" or that rape is sometimes considered “legitimate rape.

13. Calling students or ANYONE a liar for having the courage to report their rapists.

14. Telling victims they are overreacting if they happen to call someone out for catcalling them.

15. Rape jokes.

16. Sexual assault jokes.

17. People who tell women they need to take certain precautions to prevent rape, instead of telling men to NOT rape.

18. Reddit threads like “You just have to make sure she's dead" and then linking it to the story of a 13-year-old girl who got raped and buried alive in Pakistan.

19. Reddit threads who support men causing pain to women during sex.

20. Hashtags that support accused rapists.

21. Defending celebrities who are accused of rape simply because of their social status, without listening to the victim's story.

22. When more women feel scared to walk outside at night than men.

23. When most men have never checked their back seat to make sure no one was there.

24. According to the CDC, 1 in 5 women reports experiencing rape versus 1 in 71 men.

25. Prestigious universities covering up campus rapes to maintain a positive reputation.

26. Phrases like “suck my dick" or “fuck you."

27. Using the word rape as a substitute for winning: “I just raped that game!" Or using it in the opposite context: “That game raped me!"

I could easily keep going, and by now I'm sure you've caught on to what rape culture really signifies. Examples are everywhere and they permeate our society on all levels. Why is this even important or significant? Because together we can make a difference. The more people that become aware and get on board, the less rape will become normalized.

Society, as a whole, needs to understand that rape is NOT okay, and it NEVER will be.

Cover Image Credit: The CW

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8 Struggles Of Being 21 And Looking 12

The struggle is real, my friends.
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“You'll appreciate it when you're older." Do you know how many times my mom has told me this? Too many to count. Every time I complain about looking young that is the response I get. I know she's right, I will love looking young when I'm in my 40s. However, looking young is a real struggle in your 20s. Here's what we have to deal with:

1. Everyone thinks your younger sister or brother is the older one.

True story: someone actually thought my younger sister was my mom once. I've really gotten used to this but it still sucks.

2. You ALWAYS get carded.

Every. Single. Time. Since I know I look young, I never even bothered with a fake ID my first couple of years of college because I knew it would never work. If I'm being completely honest, I was nervous when I turned 21 that the bartender would think my real driver's license was a fake.

3. People look at your driver's license for an awkward amount of time.

So no one has actually thought my real driver's license is fake but that doesn't stop them from doing a double take and giving me *that look.* The look that says, “Wow, you don't look that old." And sometimes people will just flat out say that. The best part is this doesn't just happen when you're purchasing alcohol. This has happened to me at the movie theater.

SEE ALSO: 10 Things People Who Look 12 Hate Hearing

4. People will give you *that look* when they see you drinking alcohol.

You just want to turn around and scream “I'M 21, IT'S LEGAL. STOP JUDGING ME."

5. People are shocked to find out you're in college.

If I had a dollar for every time someone had a shocked expression on their face after I told them I'm a junior in college I could pay off all of my student loan debt. It's funny because when random people ask me how school is going, I pretty much assume they think I'm in high school and the shocked look on their face when I start to talk about my college classes confirms I'm right.

6. For some reason wearing your hair in a ponytail makes you look younger.

I don't understand this one but it's true. Especially if I don't have any makeup on I could honestly pass for a child.

7. Meeting an actual 12-year-old who looks older than you.

We all know one. That random 12-year-old who looks extremely mature for her age and you get angry because life isn't fair.

8. Being handed a kids' menu.

This is my personal favorite. It happens more often than it should. The best part of this is it's your turn to give someone a look. The look that says, "You've got to be kidding me".

Looking young is a real struggle and I don't think everyone realizes it. However, with all the struggles that come with looking young, we still take advantage of it. Have you ever gone to a museum or event where if you're under a certain age you get in for a discounted price? Yeah? Well, that's when I bet you wish you were us. And kids' meals are way cheaper than regular meals so there have definitely been a couple times when I've kept that kids' menu.

So, all in all, it's not the worst thing in the world but it's definitely a struggle.

Cover Image Credit: Jenna Collins

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8 Hurtful Comments That Sexual Assault Survivors Were Told After Their Attacks

"If you didn't meet him on the internet, it probably wouldn't have happened."

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Trigger warning: sexual assault

Ignorant comments about sexual assault are not only unjustified but they are extremely hurtful.

Recently, comments about the dancers in Cardi B's Grammy performance created some serious fury. Comments like: "Wow, look at the way those girls are dancing! They are just ASKING to be raped." are not acceptable, and its time we discuss the power of words over sexual assault survivors.

I asked survivors of sexual assault to share the hurtful comments that have been said to them or around them. There is no place for ignorant comments anymore.

Are you sure you're not making this up?

"I was raped at a college party by a boy who went to the same high school as me, both my parents knew about the incident. Frequently, they make offensive comments, including after I shared with them what had happened: 'Are you sure you were actually raped? Are you just making this up?'" - anonymous

The #MeToo movement is bullshit

"The #MeToo movement is such bullshit. Most of them are lying anyway." - anonymous

You were the problem

"I was 19-years-old when I was raped, and I was drunk at a party when it happened. I don't remember much of it except when he finished and left me there to pull my pants up myself. Next day I went with a couple of friends to get a rape kit done. I didn't know if I would tell my mom but I decided I would and instantly regretted it. We don't talk about it ever anymore.

My mom told me that my rape was my own fault because I was drunk. She said to me, 'I've been drunk in public many times and that never happened to me. The fact that you're drunk is the problem.'" - anonymous

You're lying

"I had multiple friends say I was lying." - anonymous

Stop saying your test "raped you"

"Comments like, 'that test raped me' or 'I'm about to get raped by my final' are said often by people who have no idea what I have gone through." - anonymous

You can't be raped if you met him on a dating app

"I was in a relationship, forced by him and then forced to stay in the relationship.

'If you didn't meet him on the internet, it probably wouldn't have happened.' - The guidance counselor at my high school

'How are you still in the relationship with him now if you didn't want it?' - My ex-best friend."

But he's your boyfriend?

"How can it be rape if you're in a relationship"

Words like these are incredibly painful for those who have experienced sexual assault. Whether you know someone who has been assaulted or not, please be careful in the way you talk around and about them.

Sexual assault survivors are often surveying a room or situations to check if they are safe there. Watch how you talk about abusers and those who make allegations, especially now that sexually assault talked about in the media quite commonly.

If you are unable to change the way you speak about sexual assault, offenders, survivors, scenarios, or tossing around the word "rape" in an unnecessary context, please keep your mouth shut.

And remember, sexual assault survivors NEVER asked for it.


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