Rape Culture Is Not A Myth, It Is Real And Dangerous
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.
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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Raped and killed at 17, walking through a park. Molested since the age of 5 by a family friend. Brutally beaten, raped and killed at 21, walking home from a Melbourne comedy club. Sexually harassed by co-workers every day. Raped with a metal rod and left on the side of the road. Raped at 14 and left outside in below freezing temperatures, where her hair froze to the ground. Raped at 19 and the judge asked why she didn’t just...
It’s a sociological concept for a setting in which rape is pervasive and normalized due to societal attitudes about gender and sexuality. Many people think that rape happens when a random woman is attacked by a stranger that has been watching her or it can be someone she knows, someone she has befriended but that’s not the only way it happens. Rape Culture is such a big thing and many people are pushing it away and not realizing how much...
Some say a teenage mistake shouldn’t follow the offender for the rest of their life. However, when it comes to assault and rape, the victim will pay the price for the rest of her life. Many survivors of sexual assault don’t report their assault because they fear rape culture’s repercussions. Rape culture is when a society normalizes sexual assault which leads to victims don’t always report their sexual assault and therefore consequently the rapist gets away with their crimes, in...
A very warm good morning to everyone present here. I am Suchita Patil and my hobbies include reading books, destroying patriarchy and crushing misogyny. I am sure by now you all have realized that I am going to be talking about gender discrimination. To be specific, my topic is Sexism, Feminism and Rape Culture. Sexism is the discrimination or oppression faced by someone due to their sex or gender. It can affect anyone, but let’s be honest, it’s usually women...
In May 2019, a video of an incident which took place at a restaurant in Gurgaon, India went viral on Facebook. In that video, a middle -aged woman was seen harassing a group of young girls and slut-shaming one of them because she was wearing a short skirt. The victim also stated that, the woman was asking the men present at the restaurant to rape her as she deserved that because of her ‘inappropriate’ clothing. This incident is a small...
A student employee attending Occidental College, ‘drove an alleged rape victim who was bleeding vaginally to a hospital’s sexual assault reporting center’ (Testa). While the employee was initially commended by her peers and superiors, several days later, ‘she was told by two deans that they saw her actions ‘as an attack’ on her department…’ (Testa). This represents an aspect of rape culture. It is a societal issue in which victims are blamed for the crimes committed against them, and the...
Rapists are usually the very clear choice as to the person to blame in rape cases. If this is a common thing then why is it said that often times it is the girls fault. If she wasn’t at the party, if she didn’t drink so much, if her clothes weren’t so revealing and if she would have just been smarter than nothing would have happened to her. These are many time peoples responses when talking about rape cases along...
Rape culture is the normalization of violent sexual acts and abuse. Without even realizing it, this society has turned into ones of prey and predator. Wild animals on the loose looking for release within its prey. All around people find themselves to be shocked and disgusted by the existence of rape, when they themselves, unknowingly, foster acts of rape. Rape culture has somehow slipped its way into our ways of existing, making it harder and harder to escape these tormenting...
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