Rape Culture in the United States

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Every 98 seconds someone in the United States is sexually assaulted. 42% of raped women are more likely to be raped again. 99% of people who rape are men. When the thought of rape comes to mind, our conscience automatically disapproves. However, we live in a society which places blame on the victim and depends on women to prevent rape. For so long all of our energy has been directed at women, teaching them to be more ladylike: not to drink too much, not to wear revealing clothes, and even not to be pretty. Women’s clothes do not determine their consent. As a result of this blaming culture, victims of rape fear they will be judged for wanting their rapist to be put behind bars. Afraid of condemnation and some were even ashamed, thinking that they were somehow to blame. Most women decided to not speak up as they see it as a better alternative than being exposed to negative judgement. What if we talked about rape the way we talk about other crimes- like kidnapping or theft? Rape is as bad as murder; maybe even worse. (The horrible statistics show that )1 in 5 women will become victims of a completed or attempted rape in their lifetime. This does not only affect women but also men and children.

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In 2015 a 12 -year -old boy was raped and kidnapped, in 2005 a 9 -year- old girl was raped and buried alive. Looking at these facts, we know how substantial these issues are but yet rape is an underreported crime, as people are uncertain if the crime was committed or not. Why? This is the question we ask ourselves: when it is one person’s word against another’s, why do we choose to doubt them? We need to help start the movement: we need more advertisements and campaigns targeted towards women to teach them about the dangers associated with rape. Yet we should not forget about young boys and men. They are at risk as well. Campaigns that teach boys from a young age: to respect women, to understand what they are told and to intervene when they see something inappropriate. This is just one of the many reasons why rape needs to be abolished. Women who feel society has failed them are deciding to take it to the internet, speaking publicly as they feel their rapist or attacker has grown (cultivate) as a part of a growing trend. One of the major topics I have read in many articles about girls who were raped has endured relentless torment for being a slut. The more I read stories about slut-shaming, the more urgent I feel the need to educate people on it.

Slut-shaming is shaming girls for their (supposed) promiscuity. (In order to) To understand the means of slut-shaming, you must first learn the term slut. In our society, girls that are self-confident and open about their sexuality are often viewed as a slut. This comes with ideas of girls being unclean, impure and filthy. And if a girl dared to wear short skirts or revealing tops, they would be shamed and would be expected to change the way they wear and the way they act to fit into our society. In Steubenville, a young girl went to a party and was raped by several of her classmates while one of them was recording. She was drunk to the point where she clearly was unable to give any consent and therefore was labeled as a slut. The boys were released without punishment. Now, imagine this girl was your mother, your sister, your friend. You. Would you not feel as if your dignity was ripped away from you? Sex. A majority of men and women pressure victims into having sex, thinking it’s okay. It is not. It is a violation of the body and a traumatic one. Victims of rape are also being prosecuted for having an abortion or even having severe punishment – much worse than their attacker. Why is this? A number of them walk away free and are left to offend again.

Do they deserve to be free? Rape is a violent act and is one of those crimes that invokes your emotions – it tells us that we have no control over our body. I believe that rapists should spend much more than a day in prison for their revolting crime and should receive much harsher punishments. Because of how lenient their punishment is, the rapists now would do it over and over again as they know they can get away with it. Rape is a crime, not only is it isolating but it is also dehumanising. It takes all of your emotions and con screws with them. Street harassment, rape jokes, anti-rape wear. All of this only encourages violence and allows rape culture to thrive. Imagine living in a world where it doesn’t matter if your body will be violated, but when, and how many times that violation will occur. As a girl growing up in a society where rape culture is almost never talked about, I fear that too soon I would have to fend for myself. It objectifies both women and men, and therefore creating a society disregarding women and men’s safety and rights. We need to know the difference between right and wrong because I know for certain that rape is wrong.

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Rape Culture in the United States. (2020, Mar 06). Retrieved February 5, 2023 , from

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