Why do we blame victims of brutal violence and shield — or even reward — their attackers?
Maybe you’ve heard about 18-year-old Jackie who met “Drew” when they worked as lifeguards at a University of Virginia swimming pool. Drew invited Jackie to dinner and a “date function” at his upper tier fraternity, Phi Kappa Psi.
Jackie was excited, and spent hours getting ready for the date. At the frat party she sipped some spiked punch and discreetly poured the rest onto the sticky floor. And then Drew suggested they go upstairs, “Where it’s quieter.” Read the rest of this entry
Around 1,400 children were beaten, raped, tortured and trafficked for over a decade in the lower-class town of Rotherham, in north England.
As authorities stood by. Or fined parents of the missing children for wasting their time.
Some of the girls were splattered with gasoline and told they’d be set afire if they reported the abuse. Some were forced to watch other kids being raped. Others were told that their parents or siblings would be killed or gang raped if they went to authorities, according to the New York Times. Read the rest of this entry
Should “no means no” be upgraded to “yes means yes”?
The California Legislature says state-funded colleges should do just that when determining whether a complaint constitutes rape. By a 52-16 vote in the State Assembly and unanimously in the Senate.
- Rape is rampant on college campuses, where 1/5 of women are assaulted
- Rape charges on campus almost always involve alcohol
- When people are drunk, they often can’t say anything
Trigger Warning: May be triggering for rape victims
Ten-year-old “G” was attacked in a rape so violent that it made a hole between her vagina and rectum.
She bled so heavily that she nearly lost her life.
In the hospital, G’s mother and aunt fretted over community pressure to kill her to retain family honor.
Little G felt homesick at the hospital, but no one had the heart to tell her that her family was conspiring to kill her. Read the rest of this entry
Here is a new kind of fantasy. It is about a new kind of man.
These men are born on the campus of an Ivy League college in New England. Or at a West Coast university. Or maybe at a football-happy school on the Great Plains.
These men talk to each other. They order pizza, play fantasy football, share their feelings and do not make fun of each other for this. Mostly, they talk about the men who behave badly, who rape the women on campus, who threaten the women in online blog posts by creating a “rape guide” instructing other men how to rape specific women.
These New Men are, quite frankly, appalled. When the women activists on campus are shouting, demanding justice, they stand among them. They shout. They, too, demand justice. Read the rest of this entry
I have been sexually assaulted three times in my life.
I am sharing my story not because it is fun, but because it is the epitome of common. I hope to help others who have been hurt, and who might be at risk for further harm.
Around age seven, fresh off the tails of my parents’ messy divorce, I became close friends with a neighborhood girl just a few years my senior. I was vulnerable and in need of guidance. Over the next six years I hung on her every word, and believed she wanted the best for me. Read the rest of this entry
Once upon a time in America only virgins or married women could be raped, people thought. In some places people still think so.
The problem comes from failing to see the world through the eyes of victims.
And so an article from the 1952-53 Yale Law Journal explained that sexual assault is illegal because,
Women’s power to withhold or grant sexual access is an important bargaining weapon… it fosters, and is in turn bolstered by, a masculine pride in the exclusive possession of the sexual object… whose value is enhanced by sole ownership.
Even though this is the crime women most fear, outside of murder. Read the rest of this entry
- Wear clothing that’s hard to remove. (Jumpsuits? Overalls?)
- Wear a hairstyle that’s hard to grab. (So cut off your hair?)
- Wear footwear that can help you get away. (Sneakers?)
After all that, women could end up looking not so attractive. Yet they’re also told that they’re supposed to be attractive. So it’s confusing.
And then there’s this: Read the rest of this entry