The Epidemic That Continues to Flourish: It's Called Rape
Politics and Activism

The Epidemic That Continues to Flourish: It's Called Rape

And guess what? We're letting it.

45
The Epidemic That Continues to Flourish: It's Called Rape
Richard Potts on Flickr

The following includes two truths and a lie:

1. One-third of women have been the victim of rape, stalking, beating, or a combination of assaults.

2. Approximately 30 percent of sexual assault cases are reported to the authorities.

3. Out of 1,000 rapes, 994 perpetrators will be incarcerated.

Can you identify the lie?

The first statistic comes straight from The New York Times, while the second comes from the U.S. Department of Justice.

That leaves the third statistic -- the lie. But this lie can be quickly transformed into a truth by simply changing the wording. The truth is, according to the Rape Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), out of 1,000 rapes, 994 perpetrators walk free.

This means that 994 out of 1,000 rapists gets to go home, crack open a beer, watch television, hang out with friends, and think about which person he or she should prey upon next. 994 out of 1,000 rapists face no consequences for taking advantage of another human being -- a human being who will live with post-traumatic consequences for life. Meanwhile, thousands of people are spending years and years behind bars for minor drug offenses.

There is something seriously wrong with our criminal justice system.

If you don't agree, just wait. Remember Brock Turner? The Stanford guy who raped a woman behind a dumpster, yet got more attention for his swimming times? The rapist who somehow received only a six months sentencing? Well, in case you're living under a rock, he's been released after only three months. Three. Months.

Someone thought three months was enough time to serve for completely violating, altering, shattering another person's life. How do you suppose the victim feels about this early release?

In a letter that the victim read in court during Turner's trial, she addressed Turner and said, "Your damage was concrete; stripped of titles, degrees, enrollment. My damage was internal, unseen, I carry it with me. You took away my worth, my privacy, my energy, my time, my safety, my intimacy, my confidence, my own voice..." (Read the full letter here.) Apparently three months was enough time to make up for all that was taken from her. Her feelings and issues that have risen as a result of the rape don't just disappear after three months. She'll carry them with her for the rest of her life.

The same goes for two students at the University of Minnesota who were raped in 2014 by Daniel Drill-Mellum, a student and fraternity member. He was recently sentenced to six years in prison, which might seem like an eternity compared to Turner's pathetic three month consequence. As it turns out, more than just two women have been assaulted by Drill-Mellum. In her statement in court, one of the victims, Abby, explained that a handful of other victims (at least ten) contacted her during the course of the trial proceedings to say that he had done the same thing to them.

And get this -- he was known for assaulting women. In court, Abby testified that she hadn't known Drill-Mellum before the day of the rape--that she had been introduced by a mutual friend. Abby said, "I first texted a friend to come and get me, and then called another. The friend who earlier in the day, told me, 'I love Dan.' This friend answered the phone to me sobbing uncontrollably and said 'don't even say a word, I know what happened. He raped my friend too.'"

First of all, what kind of a friend lets another friend walk into a situation like that? Second of all, if he knows about this guy's rape tendencies, and all of the victims know, why was he able to walk free for so long?

Within the past year, I have watched two highly emotional, intense documentaries that illuminated the realities of sexual assault. The Hunting Ground and It Happened Here seemed to kickstart a conversation about the epidemic that has been sweeping across the globe for centuries. Yet, rapists continue to walk free or serve very little time for a downright heinous crime.

And guess what? Part of it has to do with us. Maybe not you or your friends specifically, but us as a society.

In both of the documentaries listed above, victims reported the first questions they were asked: How much did you have to drink? Were you drunk? What were you wearing? From there, attorneys and school officials decide whether or not they have a case likely of winning in trial. Many victims who would have testified have said they were told they didn't have a good enough case.

A good enough case? There isn't good rape and bad rape. There isn't rape that's only sort of rape. Rape is rape. Whether you're drunk or sober, whether you're wearing short shorts and crop top or a burqa, you have a right to your body. You have a right to justice. But so far, our society doesn't seem to agree. The fact that rapists can get off the hook this easily is absolutely disgusting. The fact that serial rapists are free to rape again and again and again -- the fact that they are free to make their victims feel unsafe, unfree -- is absolutely disgusting.

Chances are, you know someone who has been sexually assaulted. Thousands of people walk around every day, petrified that they'll see their rapist -- that it will happen again or that it will happen to someone else.

After Drill-Mellum was finally sentenced to six years in prison, Abby shared with New York Daily News, "I wish it was not shameful to be a victim of assault or rape."

Think about that. We live in a society that shames victims.

I just hope that by the time I have my own children this epidemic has curtailed. Because that's what this is -- an epidemic. And until we decide to fight for victims -- until we decide to acknowledge that rape is rape no matter the circumstance -- it will continue to be.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Swoon

119 People Reveal How The Pandemic Has Affected Their Love Lives, And Honestly... Relatable

"I haven't been able to get out of the 'talking phase' with anyone."

The reality is, there's no part of life the pandemic hasn't affected. Whether it's your work life, your home life, your social life, or your love life, coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc on just about everything — not to mention people's health.

When it comes to romance, in particular, people are all handling things differently and there's no "right way" of making it through, regardless of your relationship status (single, taken, married, divorced, you name it). So, some of Swoon's creators sought out to hear from various individuals on how exactly their love lives have been affected since quarantine began.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

Preview These Top Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2020 Picks — From Luxury Purses To Skincare

Currently 3 million people viewing the Stella McCartney purse I absolutely must have.

Online shopping has been a guilty pleasure of ours for years, but now more than ever it's been a shopping lover's outlet for all our home redecorating projects and resort wear we're purchasing for that trip we had to cancel.

One of my favorite places to (virtually) window shop has always been Nordstrom. I admittedly can't afford to go on sprees there often, but I still get a high off of adding things to my cart I know I'll never actually end up buying. But sometimes, that's not enough — that's when I, like the masses of luxury-, beauty-, fashion-, and decor-lovers around the world count the days down to the annual Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Things That 'Shameless' Got Wrong About Bipolar Disorder

There is so much more than Ian and Monica lead viewers to believe.

"Shameless" is a hit television series that airs across the world, for my own personal viewing on Netflix. While the show is a major hit, people aren't talking about the issues in the portrayal in the "mental health" category. Ian and Monica are both pretty important characters with bipolar disorder (BD). There are, however, five major flaws with what their bipolar looks like.

Keep Reading... Show less

Dear Grandma,

I wish my words could adequately explain how much I miss seeing your smile and hearing your laugh. You were such a bright ray of sunshine in my life and now that you're gone, I can't help but remember all the times we had together.

Keep Reading... Show less

Rihanna is known for many things: her music, fashion, makeup, and now skincare. As a makeup artist myself, I can confidently say that she rocked the makeup world when she released her makeup line in 2017 and has been influencing the beauty world ever since.

Trying some of her makeup products myself, I know that she doesn't skimp on quality, and even though some of her products may be a little pricey, trust me, you get what you pay for.

Keep Reading... Show less

Friends, no one needs to be reminded that the COVID-19 pandemic rages on in the U.S. Frankly, this is because we have all collectively decided not to do the one simple thing that was asked of us and wear a mask.

I could make this a very boring article, and berate you with facts and statistics and the importance of wearing a mask, but I have opted against that for both of our sakes. Instead, I will attempt to reach you in another way. You might not care about a disapproving look from me, but from Nick Miller? Maybe that will be enough to change your mind.

Keep Reading... Show less

I don't want to point fingers or call anyone out, but it seems as though since the school year came to a close and summer officially started, more and more people began to care less and less about coronavirus (COVID-19).

I understand that eventually you have to get on with your life and cannot live in isolation forever, but people are still dying, cases are still increasing, and COVID is clearly not going anywhere for the time being.

Keep Reading... Show less

Bombshell news coming from Bachelor Nation today, Tayshia Adams is replacing Clare Crawley as the bachelorette!

Rumor has it that Clare found her person early on in the process and did not want to continue with the process of leading other men on throughout the season.

Keep Reading... Show less

- Though as a little girl, I had the silkiest, softest hair that would get compliments everywhere I went, since I turned about thirteen I've since had coarse, dry hair no amount of deep conditioning masks or sulfate-free shampoo could fix.

- I started using the Raincry's Condition Boar Bristle Brush several months ago, and while I noticed that my hair had been softer, silkier, and shinier than it had ever been, I didn't make the connection because I never thought a simple hairbrush could make any difference in my hair texture.

- I will be the first to admit that I thought it was ridiculous to spend nearly a hundred dollars on a hairbrush, but this one eliminates the need for me to use any heat tools or styling products on it.

- I put some oil or a serum in my hair when it's wet, brush my hair with the boar bristle brush once it's dry, and end up with the lowest maintenance, shiniest hair I've had since I was 8 years old.

@raincrybeauty

Keep Reading... Show less

The NBA is back, and for basketball fans, like myself, it has been the BEST news we have heard since COVID-19 shutdown play indefinitely. I mean, come on, we need to see if James Harden can once again perform so well he has back-to-back 50 point games, Kawhi can lead another team to the championship title, and whether Giannis is going to be back-to-back MVP... among like 500 other things running through our heads!

In the midst of all of the amazing statistics and records that these players are breaking, though, we also just love the NBA because well, there are some pretty good looking guys out there. Here are the 19 hottest NBA players (in no particular order) you would totally let slam dunk on you now that the NBA has returned.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments