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SHE WAS NOT ASKING FOR IT

September 13, 2021

Being a woman in America is really an easy task. If a man catcalls you on the street, you should simply “be nice, he was trying to compliment you.” If you wear something revealing you are classified as a “whore”, and if you cover yourself up too much, you are simply boring. If you are wearing something revealing and you get sexually assaulted, you will likely be blamed for the clothing you had on at the time, 

“She was asking for it.”

But like I previously said, it is easy being a woman in America. 

According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, one in five women will be involved in an attempted or “successful” rape during their lifetime. To put this statistic into perspective, according to rainn.org, “As of 1998, an estimated 17.7 million American women had been victims of attempted or completed rape.” This means 90% of adult sexual assault victims are female. In 1998, rape culture was not nearly as talked about, and unfortunately, the number has only continued to rise since then. But even if the men who commit these unthinkable acts are held accountable for their behavior, there is one excuse that comes to bat time and time again…“boys will be boys.” Psychologytoday.com identified this claim as the root of the problem. Allowing men and boys to feel being sexual predators is okay due to their gender is an ideology that should come to an end sooner rather than later. 

The statistics of sexual assault, sexual harassment, and rape have likely affected women around you without you even knowing. Students at Connersville High School endure sexual harassment in the store, on vacation, and at school. Yet the stigma around women reaching out for help remains strong.  

 “She just wants attention”

According to rainn.org, only 310 out of 1,000 rapes are reported. The other 690 victims will live the rest of their life in fear and face injustice. The fear of judgment is seemingly too much to bear. “You are just saying that for attention.” “ What were you wearing?” “ Were you leading him on?” “ How much did you have to drink?” With women being terrified to come out about the incidents that have occurred, this leaves men with even more opportunities to attack. 

Some men acknowledge the fear they stir up inside these women, and they use it against them in so many ways. TikTok provided a platform for the “April 24” scandal to unfold. For those of you who do not know, men were threatening to sexually assault, rape, and attack women on April 24, better known as the made-up “National Rape Day”. Unfortunately, TikTok issued few statements regarding the situation. The majority of their statements simply tried to dodge the bullet by saying that they could not find any evidence of videos promoting these vile and twisted acts. Why did these men think they could get away with this? Well, no one will believe that they were the predator who attacked these women. The white man with a perfect life and the khaki shorts would never attack a woman, right?

     Sexual abuse can also occur inside the four walls you call home. It is also okay to change your mind, regardless of if you are with your partner or a stranger. If you say no, no means no, and if they do not stop, seek help. It is important to know what is not okay, and not be afraid to speak up.

If you or someone you know needs help coping with any of these things, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline (1-800-656-4673). Do not be afraid to reach out to your healthcare provider for medication for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and any other related health issues caused by these events, and encourage others who have experienced this situation to do the same. You are not alone. You are seen. But, most importantly, this is not your fault. You were NOT asking for it.

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