Trigger Warning: Rape, Sexual Assault
It must be nice to live in a world without fear and anticipation on whether or not someone might try to impose themselves on you. To live in a world where it is safe to walk around your streets at night without looking over your shoulder or having to debate with yourself when you get dressed. Having to ask yourself if you should wear your favourite skirt or not, because it might be misinterpreted as “easy access” to someone that has no sense of boundaries. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford to live in that utopia.
Rape is defined as a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual penetration carried out against a person without that person’s consent. The act may be carried out by physical force, coercion, abuse of authority or against a person who is incapable of giving a valid consent, such as one who is unconscious, incapacitated, has an intellectual disability or is below the legal age of consent.
Research has shown that worldwide, rape is primarily committed by males. Rape by strangers is usually less common than rape by people the victim knows, and male-on-male and female-on-female prison rapes are common and may be the least reported forms of rape. People who have been raped can be traumatized and develop post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Serious injuries can result along with risk of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. A person may face violence or threats from the rapist, and in some cultures, from the victim’s family and friends.
The world health organisation states that the principle factors that lead to perpetration of sexual violence against women, including rape are: • Beliefs in family honour and sexual purity. • Attitudes of males feeling sexually entitled to another person’s body. • Weak legal sanctions for sexual violence.
As a result of misogynistic beliefs that some males buy into, they think it is within their rights to try and dominate and control females by committing acts of sexual violence against them to prove that they are in control.
Sadism is the tendency to derive pleasure, especially sexual gratification, from inflicting pain, suffering or humiliation on others. It plays a huge role in feeding the ego of a bruised man, because sexual aggression is often considered a masculine identity of characteristic of manhood in some male groups significantly correlated to desire to be held higher in esteem amongst peers.
Victims of sexual violence have been indoctrinated for so long to believe that it is their fault and that they probably did something to provoke being sexually assaulted.
This kind of mindset allows for the perpetrators to shift the blame onto the victims and dissolve themselves of all accountability so they can move on to their next victim.
Victim blaming does nothing, but add more salt to the already open wounds of these people.
Perpetrators commit these crimes of sexual violence without an afterthought for the lives and rights they disregard. They leave scars that can heal on the exterior, but take the interior years to recover. Psychological and emotional trauma takes a lot more time to get over. Trauma symptoms might only start showing years after the sexual assault has occurred.
Immediately following rape, the survivor may react outwardly in a wide range of ways from expressive to closed down, common emotions include distress, anxiety, shame, revulsion, helplessness and guilt. Denial is not uncommon. People who have been raped are at a higher risk of depression and suicide. You do not ask to be raped when you wear clothes that make you feel better about yourself, but what society deems as “inappropriate”.
You do not “ask for it” when you are intoxicated and you are not in the right state of mind to consent. You do not “want it” when you comply with a rapist in order to preserve your life.
Women are not objects, you can decide to push around and rape, because the male sexual impulses and behaviours are “uncontrollable” and “must be satisfied”. Instead of telling women and girls to not wear what you believe is provocative clothing, teach boys at a young age to respect another person’s body and their right to consent. Teach them about the harmful affects of toxic masculinity and how to control their sexual urges. Educate them on issues that affect women such as rape and make them understand that boys and girls are equal. As brothers and sisters, it is our responsibility to stand up for each other.
There is no justifiable reason to feel entitled to another person’s body.
Do not commit acts of sexual violence against others, because you should not do unto others what you do not want done unto you. Let us join our hands and work together to not fail humanity.