Rape is an issue in America that dates back as far “America” was discovered. America was built on the blood, sweat, and tears of black men and women. The women were taken, beaten, and raped by their white slave owners and there was nothing anyone could do to stop it from happening. We are at a time now where rape is something that should not, and will not be tolerated. When a person is raped, it isn’t just their bodies that are affected. Their minds, their pride, and their spirit has also been attacked.
This month is designated as Sexual Assault Month. This is the month where awareness is raised for both men and women on rape. Rape is nothing to play with at all. Mostly, women are criticized and told not to be promiscuous, not to wear clothing that shapes to their bodies or is too revealing, and not to be sexual beings. Shouldn’t women be allowed to be who they are, wear what they desire, and not feel like they are attracting a predator. Shouldn’t men be told and taught not to disrespect women? Violate them? Rape them? Men are usually noted as the foundations to many families, they are supposed to be the husbands, fathers, brothers, providers, and protectors. Exactly how is it that some men falter from their responsibilities of being those types of men, to the men that will assault a woman. Was that pre-teen girl really asking to be raped because she had on shiny lip gloss? Was the girl in your class who agreed to study with you really saying ‘yes’ she wanted to hook up? The psychological aspect of men who rape women is a mental illness. There is no good reason to rape anyone.
Even men who are raped by women are ashamed to come forward and report it because some feel embarrassed, some don’t know how to feel, and some would feel ashamed if their guy friends knew they were taken advantaged of. Any person who is raped is systematically oppressed because chances are people won’t believe them, they’re fearful of what people will think of them, they’ll blame themselves, and will even be blamed by others for wanting it or letting it happen. This causes many people to report having been raped and to live with that stain for the rest of their lives. The secrecy causes the mental disconnect and drives people to harm themselves and successfully commit suicide. They relive that event everyday because of the reprehensible act that was committed against them. Most rapes go unreported, so how can we as American people create a safe environment for men and women to report being assaulted without feeling pressured, embarrassed, or frightened?
A lot of rapes take place on college campuses. Students are encouraged to walk in groups at night, be aware of their surroundings, and always say ‘No’ as a method of protection if their “partner” is trying to take it too far. Some organizations and wellness centers on college campuses even give presentations on how young women can guard themselves from being the next rape victim is she follows the list provided on a slideshow. There are also cases when rape occurs “in house” between parents/guardians and children. We all need to do more for this serious offense. People take rape lightly and have even taken to social media to create memes about it. Instead of treating this as a fad that’s just passing, we need to teach one another the proper way to handle situations like these. We need to be informed, speak out, help victims of rape (they can be anyone – friends, family, strangers), and speak up for them and speak out about rape. The severity of rape has escalated since the beginning of time.
A list of websites for assault hotlines are below. If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted and is looking for a safe place to vent or someone to talk to, please reach out to these hotlines. If you are a college student, you can also use campus resources. Find a doctor, friend, mentor, or relative to help you through the difficult time. You are not alone and should not have to face a tragedy like this alone. Using these resources are the next steps to renewing yourself and knowing, it’ s not your fault.
*You can also find more websites and hotlines online. Find a site that is good for you.