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Rape Culture Is Not A Myth, It Is Real And Dangerous

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By definition, “rape culture” is an environment and sociological concept that rape is not only pervasive but also trivialized due to societal attitudes about gender and sexuality shaped by customs and stereotypes formed by society (Waweru Nduta, 2018). Although the term was generated recently, this horrendous pattern of ignorance reflects on an already existing custom that dates back to medieval times. Rape culture is present in our nation like cutlery in a house and has intensely increased over the years. Reports of rape and attempted rape recorded in 2017/18 have increased up to sixty percent compared to ones recorded in 2011 and 2012 (WordsWorth Matt, 2018). As we are no longer oblivious to the dramatic increase of sexual assaults, it is time for us to make a change.

Many incidents of rape or sexual assault often go unreported, especially when it comes to teenage girls, simply because of the weight of shame, fear, and the belief that no one would believe them if they came forward to share, which places them in a very precarious position. The Australian Institute of Family Studies documented that “The perception that false allegations of sexual assault are common has negative consequences for victims of sexual assault and society more generally by perpetuating victims’ fear of being disbelieved or being blamed for the assault. This reduces the likelihood of reporting” (Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2019). Many women who were victims of rape or sexual harassment would put themselves in the perception of not by labeling themselves as a victim, but rather normalizing their experiences that a lot of men are just sexually and physically aggressive, which leads to them accept that they are to tolerate it because of the way society standardizes men and women. The culture we grow up in with today’s society articulates women or girls about what they can expect. However, this is not something that is blatantly said or put out there, but instead it is reinforced from an accumulation of the culture around them such as the language and micro-interactions between children. Furthermore, since many reported rape incidents don’t usually develop into a prosecution, it puts the victims in more disbelief since the case would get almost nowhere. According to the “Centres Against Sexual Assault” (CASA) Forum, it states that only 1 in 6 reports to the police of rape actually results in a prosecution. Another thing to mention is that there is another side of unreported rape crimes and one of them comes from victimized men, which have an even lower rate of reporting because most people cannot even conceive of that happening. The supplementary incidents to that would be when people are raped or sexually assaulted by someone they know because more reports happen if the perpetrator is a stranger rather than someone that they trusted. It puts the victims in a far more complicated spot and state of mind.

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In the rape culture, false allegations are a particular factor that makes this crime different from any other crime. For example, nobody ever really “wins” rape cases because all the defendant ever has to do is plead not guilty since the regular standards of evidence don’t lend themselves well to rape as a crime. If you take murder for instance and shoot someone with a gun, there are various methods to trace the bullet to the gun, eventually leading to the shooter, but you can’t do that with consent to the sexual act which also, in turn, contributes to low rates of reporting among other things. There are numerous reasons regarding the motivation for someone making a false rape claim. It can even be as trivial and inessential as disliking the person and setting them up for it. In a recent event last month, a woman named Sarah-Jane Parkinson from Canberra, has been jailed for making a false rape claim against her ex-partner and sentenced to more than three years. The victim spent over four months in jail over this conviction and it almost destroyed him mentally as he told a court that his ex-partner’s crime “nearly drove him to suicide, changed who he was and shattered his faith in the legal system” (ABC News, 2019). The factors that are the most likely to influence whether the claim is believable or not are the consistency of the story, whether they know each other, and their behavior (Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2019). False accusations not only make it tougher for the legal system, but it also makes it harder for the people that are actually rape victims since their cases could also be seen as non-believable which puts a heavyweight on their shoulders.

When a rape case does end up resulting in a prosecution, it doesn’t mean that it ends just there. It is very hard to win a case like that or end in the proper conviction. For the years of 2009 and 2010 in Victoria, out of the 1643 cases that went to court, only 631 of them ended in a conviction. In 2015 New South Wales, there were only 934 convictions reported from 1734. According to the CASA Forum, “Only about 17% of reported sexual offenses result in a conviction” (Centres Against Sexual Assault). The reason why it’s so difficult for there to be a proper declaration of guilt in these cases simply goes back to the lack of evidence and the fact that it’s so easy for one side to say “it happened” and the other side to say “I didn’t do it” and leaves the jury and overall judgment in a very perplexed state.

In conclusion, rape and rape culture is a very touchy subject for many people and they cannot be blamed for it. I believe that we need to be very careful about what we do with these discussions since not even the victims would ever really be comfortable speaking about it. It is a very hard crime to come to a complete understanding of and it shouldn’t be overlooked. Our culture has the ability to decrease the rate of rape culture, but it is not something that will happen overnight. Rape culture will continue to be a serious social issue until we, as a society, choose to question the trivial details regarding the victim’s appearance and look over the predators’ actions. So, let’s start questioning and paying attention to the predator before the victim eventually becomes a loved one.

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Rape Culture Is Not A Myth, It Is Real And Dangerous. (2021, July 31). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 2, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/rape-culture-is-not-a-myth-it-is-real-and-dangerous/
“Rape Culture Is Not A Myth, It Is Real And Dangerous.” Edubirdie, 31 Jul. 2021, edubirdie.com/examples/rape-culture-is-not-a-myth-it-is-real-and-dangerous/
Rape Culture Is Not A Myth, It Is Real And Dangerous. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/rape-culture-is-not-a-myth-it-is-real-and-dangerous/> [Accessed 2 Dec. 2022].
Rape Culture Is Not A Myth, It Is Real And Dangerous [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2021 Jul 31 [cited 2022 Dec 2]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/rape-culture-is-not-a-myth-it-is-real-and-dangerous/
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