Where do I even begin?
Rape: an act of plunder, violent seizure, or abuse; despoliation; violation
A while back, a young woman was the subject of verbal abuse on a social network. You may think I’m being dramatic, but that’s exactly what it was. This hoodlum said publicly that she deserved to be raped, that she asked for it and that she was a dirty b*tch. She’s one of the strong ones who uses her story as an inspiration. She is successful and living her life. But you could tell it hurt her and reopened wounds still healing. The uproar this caused…I was proud of how people came to her defense. Needless to say, that halfwit was barred from that particular social site!
Problem is, he isn’t the only person who thinks that most rape occurs because of the victim. “She dresses like a ho!” “She’s such a tease!” “She provoked him!” Excuse me, but if this is your reasoning, would you like to explain to me why a 6year old boy was molested by his uncle or why that elderly woman was raped in her own home? Was it their fault?
People come up with all sorts of reasons to excuse rape, that it almost seems like they want to make it socially acceptable. Why would you go out of your way to defend the rapist while branding the victim…if she is an adult female a harlot? That’s incredibly irrational.
One of the reasons so many persons who have been the VICTIM of rape do not speak up is because of social stigma. Can you imagine experiencing a someone forcing him/herself on you then having to deal with someone telling you how it’s your fault, how you’re dirty and worthless, an embarrassment to the family…? the shame would not let you speak up, the pain and memories of that encounter would be enough. Dealing with everyone telling you its your fault or treating you like a leper would be like adding tabasco to an open wound.
It’s so much worse if the rapist is someone you know, a family member…no one believes you. “Uncle Juma, Amina why are you telling lies. He is a good Christian man. He even pays your school tuition” (cue beating).
Rape is real, and can happen to anyone, anywhere. Open your eyes, educate yourself…your children…your friends. Be understanding and offer support if someone confides in you. If you cannot help, places like Nairobi Womens Hospital have trained personnel to deal with this, take them there. Holding there hand through it is enough.
If you are an ignorant arse who cannot see further than his nose, who refuses to educate himself and quit talking verbal diarrhea, know there are those of us who do not condone your small minded crap!
Stigma is only one reason people don’t speak up, but it is a big part of the reason, I wont touch the rest now…but I do feel its necessary to dispel a few of the rumors out there, so here are a couple of facts:
Myth:Rape and sexual assault are about sexual attraction and gratification.
Fact: Rape and sexual assault are all about control and domination.
Myth: A healthy person can resist being raped or sexually assaulted.
Fact: According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1 out of every 6 adult women has been a victim of rape, and approximately 92,700 men are raped in the U.S. each year. Healthy and strong people are raped every day. Rape victims are doctors, lawyers, nurses, military personnel, cooks, accountants, students—anyone and everyone could be vulnerable to rape or sexual assault.
Myth: When it comes to sex, men can be provoked to “a point of no return.”
Fact: Men are physically able to stop at any point during sexual activity. Rape is not an act of impulsive, uncontrollable passion; it is a premeditated act of violence. Research shows that 50% of rapes are planned.
Myth: If a woman goes to her date’s room on the first date, it implies she is willing to have sex.
Fact: Nothing is ever implied. Date rapes comprise 50 to 75% of all reported rapes. The best way to prevent a bad situation is to communicate. If things get hot and heavy and you’re not sure what the other person wants, just ask. Some people feel talking may ruin “the mood.” But doing something without consent is rape—and that’s a real mood killer!
Myth: Rape is usually violent and involves a stranger.
Fact: Actually around 73% of all rapes and 90% of rapes on college campuses are committed by someone the victim knows. Many rapes involve force or the threat of force, but some rapes are committed when the victim is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or even asleep! Sex against someone’s will is rape under any circumstances.
Myth: When a woman dresses provocatively, she’s asking for trouble.
Fact: Rapists look for easy, vulnerable targets. Thinking that women provoke attacks against them by the way they dress transfers blame from the perpetrator to the victim. Research shows that this particular myth helps others feel better because they think that rape couldn’t happen to them.
Myth: It’s not really rape when a woman changes her mind in the middle of a sexual activity.
Fact: A woman can change her mind at any time. Say you want to stop, say no or simply say you’ve changed your mind. A respectful partner does not want to do something that you don’t want to do.
Myth: Only attractive women are raped.
Fact: Anyone can be raped. Children, the elderly and people with physical and mental disabilities are easy targets of rape because of their vulnerability. Men, gay and straight alike, can and do get raped. Rape is not about passion or uncontrollable lust. It’s about control over another person and it’s an opportunistic act of violence. Heterosexual men are responsible for the majority of all rapes.
Myth: Anyone who is drunk or high and being a flirt gets what they deserve.
Fact: Being drunk or high is risky behavior that could have many dangerous consequences. Rape is just one of them. People who are “loaded” are also less likely to use protection and more likely to have sex or be coerced into having sex with someone they don’t know. The bottom line: regardless of a person’s behavior, no one deserves to be raped. Furthermore, people who commit crimes while “under the influence” are still responsible for their actions.
Myth: Women fantasize about being raped.
Fact: Some women have sexual fantasies about having aggressive sex with a stranger or being “forced” into performing certain sexual acts, but they can stop the fantasy when it becomes too frightening. During a real rape, the victim is powerless to stop anything.
Myth: If a person doesn’t fight back, she or he wasn’t really raped.
Fact: Rape can be life threatening, particularly when a rapist uses a weapon or force to accomplish penetration. Submission is not the same as cooperation. Whatever a person does to survive is the appropriate action.
Myth: There are a lot of false rape reports.
Fact: The false report rate for rape is similar to other false felony reports.
Myth: Most people report rape or sexual assault to the police.
Fact: The truth is that rape and sexual assault are two of the most underrepresented crimes in our society. Estimates show that between 50–90% of rapes go unreported. Factoring unreported rapes together with the odds of an arrest being made and the chances of getting a felony conviction, only 6% of rapists will ever spend a day in jail. In other words: 15 of 16 rapists walk free. 1
My mama always told me “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything”. take this advice, if you don’t want to end up causing someone more harm or look like a complete twit!
I haven’t used Kenyan statistics but this gives you an idea of what rape is. Also, I want YOUR input. What do you know? How can I make my next post more informative. I want to get people talking. If you know local helplines or places that offer help to rape victims or just want to share your opinions or experiences, please feel free to comment below.
This is something that needs to be talked about…must be talked about.