I have been reaching out to various friends and acquaintances to help me reach more people, and it was during one of these conversations that I was smacked in the face with the reality of just how screwed up our society's view of rape and sexual assault is. In response to me asking this particular young woman if she would be willing to help me, she said "I will send it privately though bc I have to be extremely PC on my facebook." Let that sink in, she could not publicly post a link to a blog about supporting rape survivors and sexual assault awareness because it isn't politically correct. Saying "rape is unacceptable" is not PC. Saying "stop victim-blaming" is not PC. I went from shock to anger to outrage, and I wasn't angry at this woman but at the society that set the rules. I know that rape is an uncomfortable topic, but it is one that needs to be addressed. In case you didn't read my first post (Rape in a Rape Culture: Victim or Victor?), let me lay out some of the statistics for you.
In the US, someone is sexually assaulted every 2 minutes.
1 in 5 American women and 1 in 71 American men have survived either an attempted or completed rape in their life, thats more than 23.6 million survivors.
1 in 4 college women will survive a rape or attempted rape by the time they graduate.
And given that only ~39% of rapes are reported, it is safe to assume the odds are probably even worse than the grim statistics above.
In the time it has taken you to read what I have written above, at least one person has been sexually assaulted. The fact of the matter is that odds are you know at least one survivor (probably more), you may never know who they are but someone you know and care about has been hurt and violated. So although it might be "uncomfortable" to have something about rape on your Facebook wall or Twitter feed, I want to challenge everyone to set aside their discomfort and choose to show support of the millions of unnamed survivors by passing along this message, because in doing so you are acknowledging their pain and supporting their struggles. I want to challenge the men out there to show your support by spreading the message and encouraging others to take a stand for change. I want to challenge everyone to click "Share" instead of "Like", because in comparison to the pain and "discomfort" a survivor experiences, your discomfort at having the word "rape" on your wall doesn't even begin to compare. I don't say this as a guilt trip or for pity or sympathy but as a very blunt wake up call. Because although they aren't telling you how much it means to them, they are telling me--and believe me when I say there are a lot of them out there. So support you friends, girlfriends, sisters, mothers, aunts, cousins, brothers (etc) and click "Share".