RAPE: verb /reɪp/ [I or T]
Definition: to force someone to have sex when they are unwilling, using violence or threatening behaviour
Wikipedia: There is no single theory that conclusively explains the motivation for rape.
Victim blaming: term
Definition: holding the victim of a crime to be in whole or in part responsible for the crime. In the context of rape, this concept refers to the Just World Theory and popular attitudes that certain victim behaviors (such as flirting or wearing sexually provocative clothing) may encourage rape. In extreme cases, victims are said to have “asked for it”, simply by not behaving demurely.
-He locked the door. He turned to face her. “Like you said, we don’t want anyone coming in on us.” He reached under Liberty’s head and produced a roll of duct tape hidden under the cushions. He cut off a length and sealed her mouth. He pressed down and spun the roll around her wrists…
..Liberty’s muscles refused. Her legs were bound. Virgil leered above her. Hands searched her body.
Her skirt rose up.
If you tell anyone, I’ll kill you.
He left the room. Liberty laid on the couch until the final school bell rang. She struggled out of the restraints and cleaned up the mess of herself.
Only when she saw the bloodstains on the couch did she cry.
Where could Liberty turn to for help? To the police? To the school? She understood nothing of the law. But she did know she was acting against the rules by first talking to a boy and to eating lunch away from the lunchroom. To her friends? She had none. To her parents? Girls who let that happen to them had been asking for it, she was taught. To God? Her parents told her He didn’t exist.
Liberty could only rely on herself. She retreated into herself, and stayed there. - A rape scene excerpt from John Oystein’s novel
I know any woman reading this, has either been a rape victim, downplayed a story of how she narrowly escaped the ordeal, was in an uncomfortable situation where her ‘possible rape alarm bells’ where going off even though luckily nothing happened or knows someone close to them that has gone through one of those horrifying experiences. I’ve learnt recently that one in four women report that their first sexual experience was forced-Amnesty International report. For most, these traumatic experiences have either been bottled up within the victim or gone no further than a close friend’s ear in the hope to forget it, knowing that even if reported, it will still be blamed on her, or even worse the fear of sarcastic ridiculing and mocking, jokes like ‘kulika agasajja’, a comment that a work colleague made to Ndagire, a Ugandan journalist that was gang raped last year. She later committed suicide. Rosebell’s blog has more on this terrible incident.
For me, such a story as well as the most recent story of the Indian girl gang raped and left for dead on a bus, is a constant reminder that no matter how educated, how successful, how independent, how powerful we get as women, it only takes a moment of being caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. We are not as emancipated as we’d like to think. Men still possess and wave a dangerous tool of oppression over us: rape continues to aggravate discrimination against women and girls.
Even more disturbing is the fact that it might not always be a stranger. More than 55% of rapists are men we trust: our fathers, our brothers, our uncles, our boyfriends, our teachers, our neighbors. Men who make dealing with the trauma and humiliation of having had your body violated even harder because if someone so close could have raped you, you surely must have been asking for it somehow.
I don’t even want to get into how hard it is to get a rapist arrested; I’m not even talking conviction here. How victims are left facing inadequate responses by police, having to pay for the cost of police transportation to arrest the accused, forensic examination fees and other expenses related to the investigation.
But I’ll talk about the poor men that have been forced to blame the woman for what happened- ‘she brought it on herself’ is usually what they say. Why else would a man forcefully penetrate her vagina over and over again? She must have refused to give him ‘some’ of what is owed to him, or her skirt was so short, he could see her shiny wet vagina beckoning him to punish her for her indecency. Those slutty ungrateful women!
I don’t pray a lot but I did pray for those poor men that have to go through life with such women, that are forced by the woman’s lack of demure to rape her. What a heavy burden to carry around. I pray such men never have wives, girlfriends, mothers, daughters that some other poor men are also forced to rape. I pray they never have someone they care so much about be raped by another man and castigated because she had to have brought it on herself.
No man should have to see someone so close go through such an experience, just like no woman should have to be raped, let alone be blamed for it.
Now, can we have some meaningful action done about rape already? Outrage shouldn’t wait for incidents pushed in the lime light. Somewhere around you there is a woman who has been raped, living silently with the trauma and deserves justice.
PS: I know my mind seems to be allover the place, but a topic like this is hard to have a direct chain of thought about.