By Danielle,

Rant: Rape and Victims

6/06/2012 DK 0 Comments

Let's get one thing straight.

I'm so sick of people (both men and women) who partly blame the rape/sexual assault victims for the assault, saying things like:
1) they should wear "appropriate" clothes that cover their bodies,
2) they shouldn't walk around at an "inappropriate" time by themselves,
3) they shouldn't "lead the men on", and
4) they shouldn't act promiscuously.

Now, there are so many things wrong with these statements.
Whilst I agree that women (and even men) can take some steps to possibly avoid being the victims of sexual assault, is it really their fault? Should it be inevitable that women who dress or behave "inappropriately" get raped?

Obviously not.

Society has already put so many restrictions on women whether they are from the USA, Australia, the Middle East, Asia, and so on. Should we give the men even more power and control by accepting and agreeing that it is rather obvious that women should get assaulted merely because of the way they act or dress? That somehow they "deserve" it? This is a very sickening thought.

I, for one, believe that in a desirable society, women should be able to walk around naked if they wish to and not expect to get raped. Of course, we live in a "civilised" society where it is frowned upon to reveal too much skin, but it is up to the offender to understand the same acceptable/unacceptable lines in our societies: that is, it is NOT okay to sexually assault someone, and it is NOT okay to justify doing so.

And as harsh as it could be, I believe that both women and men should be able to "lead someone on" without being afraid that they may be coerced into sex, or that they may be partially consenting to sexual intercourse. "No" actually means "no".

And for the record, PROSTITUTES GET RAPED, TOO!
It is a disturbing thought that in courts, offenders of sexual assault tend to get less severe punishment for the assault of prostitutes/sex workers. Why should a job get in the way of their rights as humans?

I agree that in courts and in our everyday lives, when dealing with crime or any kind of issues, it is important to think about all relevant factors surrounding or leading up to the incident. However, we need to know exactly what "relevant" means. The way a victim was dressed, and the time the victim was walking around outside prior to the assault, can be mentioned merely for a more detailed description of the event, but should not be considered relevant factors which may have triggered the offender. What gives us the right to judge another and decide whether they "had it coming" or that they were "asking for it"?

For example, in a case of murder, even if the victim was behaving unreasonably (that is, "acting up" but not to the point he/she could be thought of as a threat to the offender's well-being from which the incident will merely be the result of "self-defence"), murder would not be an inevitable result. Do we, as "evolved" beings, believe that we lack self-control so much that when someone merely makes us angry we should physically resolve it by killing them or assaulting them? I would hope not. The victim could be as horrible as a human can be, purposely provoking the other, but it is up to the individual to react appropriately.

We need to have clear heads on these topics as these are important issues which can easily be detrimental to all our lives. By showing examples of past cases where offenders have gotten away with light sentences, we could possibly be teaching those out there who are prone to these behaviours, that in some cases it is rather expected for them to act that way. We need to teach ourselves and people around us that it is never okay to sexually or physically assault someone, no matter how promiscuously they were dressed or behaving.

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