A Violent Spectrum


TW: sexual assault, rape, PTSD

“It’s horrible and shameful that women in 2017 still live with the constant threat of sexual assault, but it’s a reality we don’t have to accept quietly.” (Source)

A friend shared this Bored Panda article on my Facebook wall today:

Guy Left In Tears After Trying To Grope Woman, But Not Everyone Agrees She Has Right To Fight Back Like That

So many don’t understand this is *sexual assault*. I didn’t even understand that myself until about 5 years ago. We are socialized to accept such behavior as normal, and if we react at all, we’re shamed and silenced for “overreacting.”Sexual violence occurs on a spectrum, where even the slightest offense is too much. It is assault.  

Once I consciously accepted what my body had known for over twenty years (thus the Complex PTSD), I realized that I had been sexually assaulted across the spectrum multiple times, mostly by people I knew and trusted. Acknowledging that was like another assault. It was traumatizing. 

Whether someone grabs your ass, crotch, or breasts without consent or doesn’t take no (or indication of no) for an answer, it’s sexual assault. 

Period.

If there is penetration into your body (mouth, anus, or vagina) with any object, including but not limited to a penis, fingers, foreign object, no matter how slight or for how long, it is rape.

Period.

We (as women especially, but also covering the spectrum of gender) have been socialized to accept so much sexual violence (pretty much anything falling short of extremely brutal stranger rape) as acceptable behavior. So much in fact, that only ~25% of women whose experience matches the legal definition of rape consider themselves a rape victim.

This is what is now known as “rape culture.” It’s a society that minimizes and normalizes sexual assault. 

It’s a society that *socially* puts the burden of proof on the traumatized rather than questioning the accused.
It’s a society that not only accepts sexual assault and its perpetrators but celebrates them (John Lennon, Bill Cosby, Michael Jackson, etc.)… The USA elected a sexual predator for president. 

It’s a society that doesn’t believe victims when they come forward (even en masse and/or with witnesses and overwhelming physical/video proof) and then shames victims who choose not to come forward (to face further abuse). 

It’s a society that makes excuses for the perpetrator, aka rape apology, like “s/he probably didn’t realize,” “s/he was confused/drunk,” “but s/he’s so nice to me/never hurt me,” etc.

It’s a society that blames the victim or target of violence: “why was s/he there at that time/alone/etc.?”, “look what she was wearing?”, “why didn’t s/he fight back?”, “did you say no?”, “did you say no forcefully enough?” 

Ad nauseam. 

It’s a society that has tens of thousands of untested rape kits. 

It’s a society in which only ~14% of perpetrators ever see the inside of a courtroom. One in which only 3% of sexual predators ever spends a single day in jail. 
It’s a society in which ~80% of sexual violence is perpetrated by someone the victim/target knows. 

One in which 1 in 3 women have or will experience sexual violence. Personally, I think it’s much higher than that, as I’ve yet to meet a woman over the age of 15 who hasn’t been groped against her will, let alone finding it difficult to think less than 50% (of women I’ve met) who’ve experienced attempted or completed rape.  

All this starts here, with things like this article. The fact that so many still question whether or not this woman had the right to defend herself against assault tells me we still have a long way to go.

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~ by omgrey on July 5, 2017.

One Response to “A Violent Spectrum”

  1. Having been in jail. I learned that most guys, as well as most people, do not consider what they do at all. Not just thinking that grabbing a woman’s ass is assault, but that there are consequences for ANYTHING.

    They will deny what they did, before, during and after the fact. As a gender swapped role, If a man rpaes another man in prison, he is not considered gay. The man who got rapped is considered gay. This denial warps reality, or at least tries to.

    For me, I don’t care if the jerk that got caught is crying or begging not to go to jail. Nail him to the wall, press charges and make him learn.

    All in all, I think it’s not just rape, but our society thinks there are no such things as being responsible. It’s always someone else’s fault. They have a right to do whatever they like and do not even consider that their actions have ramifications. They just do as they feel like and then if caught, think it is unjust that they are being punished.

    Sad state of affairs.

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