A lot of the talk in the news, especially on social media, has been about Justice Brett Kavanaugh and the sexual assault allegations that have come forward. Connecting this case to ones in the past, often the 'justification' for letting it go or not taking it completely seriously is because they don't want to ruin the man's future....ruin the MANS future. Let that sink in for a second.
Rape and sexual assault can happen to anyone, both men and women. One in five women and one in seven one men will experience sexual assault in their lifetime. But many of the more popular cases in the media such as the Brock Turner case in 2016 are justified because the man was 'young and didn't know what he was doing' or they don't want to 'ruin the rest of their lives'.
Why is this so easily justified but no one thinks about the lifelong effects that this trauma has on the victim?
So many victims are literally traumatized for months, years, or their entire lives from their experience. 94% of women who have been raped experience symptoms of PTSD during the two weeks following the rape. 30% of women reported experiencing PTSD 9 months after the rape. 33% of women who are raped contemplate suicide. 13% of women who are raped attempt suicide. Approximately 70% of rape or sexual assault victims experience moderate to severe distress, which is a larger percentage than for any other crime.
Why is this not our main concern in the courtroom? Why is okay to focus on the rest of the man's/perpetrators life, but not the victims? I've heard this reasoning in too many cases and it literally just does not make sense. They aren't the victims in these situations, so why is it them who gets the second chance?
I've talked to a lot of people in the last week or so, asking their opinions on the case specifically and on the way rape cases are treated in general. One opinion that was relatively common between men really stood out to me; that they feel as if women lie about the rape or sexual assault occurring. Fake rape accusations get a lot of attention because they're an easy escape.
Only 2-10% of rape accusations have been proven false in the last 10 years according to a US study. The FBI only has 8% of rape cases that are "unfounded". Every 98 seconds an American is sexually assaulted. Only 2-10% of accusations have been proven false in the last 10 years.
I've also heard, "Well why is she just bringing this up now?" What people don't understand is how hard it is to get a rape case even inside a courtroom, and one of the only reasons this one finally came up is because of the high-class social status. Everyday rape cases aren't typically discussed because most go unreported or don't ever make it that far.
But Justice Kavanaugh has the name attached, and that forced people to pay attention regardless if they agree or disagree with what happened.
This specific case combined with the 'Me Too' movement has begun to give women a voice, and more and more have finally spoken up about their own personal experiences. People don't understand how much times have changed and that women simply were not allowed to speak up about these things are they are today.
This case is a prime example of how far we still have to come, and how serious these cases need to start being taken. The victims need to start becoming the priority.