Rape culture continuing to proceed unaddressed

Rape is defined as an unlawful sexual activity and usually sexual intercourse carried out forcibly or under threat of injury against the will usually of a female or with a person who is beneath a certain age or incapable of valid consent.

So many sexual assault cases have appeared on the news in the past few months, and I find it incredibly sickening. Victims all over the world hide behind the fear of their perpetrator, and everything about that is wrong.

Media oversexualizes women’s bodies to an extreme. Men don’t see breasts for what they are; women have them so they can take care and feed their children. Their bodies are their homes; their bodies do not belong to anyone else. Men also get sexually abused, but not many of their stories are shared.

In today’s society, sex abuse is something that needs to be addressed. This is the age where many of us start having sex and go to parties. It’s not always a safe zone, and so many people overlook it. The Center for Disease Control estimated that 1 in 6 boys and 1 in 4 girls will be sexually abused before they turn 18. Victims never thought they’d be that one statistic, though 18 percent of the women population around the world have been raped at some point in their lives, and only 16 percent of rape cases were reported to law enforcement.

Rape, sexual assault, whatever it may be, is so much more than how the media portrays it. The Brock Turner case caused a lot of controversy. How does a man who rapes an unconscious women get released within three months of his sentencing?

It shows a lack of common knowledge, and it also shows that the victim is not seen as the victim. And I think it’s wrong. I’ve heard things from “she could’ve fought back,” to “her dress was too short.” Where does it claim that a man has the right to violate someone based on how someone reacts in a moment of fear or what they wear? Never is it the victim’s fault.

Many victims are ashamed at what happened, simply because they think they could have done something to prevent it. Also, women think people will see them as a whore.

The stigma of “she was asking for it” is beyond me. No one asks for this. Victims fight back the best they can, but once you’re drowning in fear, your body shuts down. All you can do is cry and hope that it’s over quickly.

Perpetrators make their victims feel like an object,  kind of how media portrays women. I’m a person. Women are people. And to be degraded the way we are is something I wish no one had to deal with.

We can’t stop the media from sexualizing our bodies. The only thing we can do is support each other and victims.

Each day we walk by our peers in the hallways. Could you pick out the ones who have been raped or molested, or even those who are going to be sexually abused in their future? No. Anyone is susceptible.

And those struggling through something like this need our love. I cannot express how dehumanizing it is to have someone take away your body’s rights and tear them up in front of your eyes. People are not toys. They are not objects or things you use to feel good. They belong to people with feelings and lives.

Rape causes so much damage. I want to reach out to other victims. I want them to know that whatever happened to them was never their fault. People have choices. People chose to rape.

Being a victim of some type of sexual abuse also does not define them whatsoever. They are not the names they have been called. Don’t judge what happens to people. We’re all trying to make our ways through life, but when anything traumatizing happens, it puts a pause in life. Everything looks different, and victims can fear people and relationships and love. It’s so hard to pick yourself up. It’s hard to stop crying at night when being alone in a bed is where your world fell apart.  Abuser’s should not tower over us.

It’s time to teach men not to rape, not teach women how not to get raped. If any of you are going through something like this, please reach out. It’s not something you can go through alone. Also, you need to remember that it will never be your fault. Saying no should be enough to stop unwanted sex.

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