I remember how disgusted I felt when I heard a rapist justify rape by stating that the girl ‘looked older than 11-years-old.’I cannot even begin to fathom how the man could blame the girl for his heinous act. But in reality, that’s exactly the kind of reaction we expect from the society.
A lot of the rape victims hesitate to report the crime because they actually know their rapist. For some unfathomable reason, people time and again invalidate the account of rape victims just because they find it very difficult to believe that the rapist was a friend, an ex-partner or one of the family members.
Healing from being sexually exploited is extremely difficult and not receiving support from family and friends makes it even harder. Not only does the society a victim’s claims of being raped, they often blame her for it.
‘She already had a dreadful reputation.’
‘Oh, she was dressed so provocatively.’
‘She ought to have known better than to put herself in this kind of a situation.’
These are some of the reasonings that people give if a girl gets raped.
Why do people take up arms against the victim and not the rapist? Maybe because they’ve never experienced the humiliation and pain of being sexually abused and so, can’t possibly fathom how rape can happen between a person and their spouse, relative, partner or co-worker.
Rape victims are mostly blamed because they did not fight back. But that in no way justifies rape. It does not make any less of a difference to the fact that they were raped if they had fought back violently. It’s high time we put an end to the myth that rape only happens in some dark, dingy alleyway. And the myth that rapists are scary monsters who have that ‘I am a rapist’ look. The truth of the fact is that more than 85% rapes are carried out by someone the victim knows personally.
One of the reasons people blame a rape victim is because they want to distance themselves from a disagreeable occurrence and in doing so, confirm their own imperviousness to the danger. By labeling or condemning the sexually assaulted victim, people can see the sufferer as being different from themselves. People bolster themselves by actually thinking, ‘since I’m not a little bit like her, as my actions are different then hers, something like rape would never ever happen to me.’
In spite of of their actions, no person deserves to be sexually, verbally or physically abused. If truth be told, putting the responsibility for the brutality on the victim is somewhat a way to maneuver the victim and all other people. Perpetrators will tell the wounded, ‘you were the one who made me angry,‘ or, ‘I was jealous because you gave him more attention,‘ or else will try to transfer the encumber by saying, ‘everybody behaves like this.’ A large number of victims try to conciliate and please their violent partners in order to minimize the intensity of the violence.
Anytime somebody is forced against their own will to have sex, they have been assaulted sexually, in spite of of whether or not they said ‘no’ or fought back or not. There are a lot of reasons why a person who has been victimized may not physically struggle or fight with their attacker including fright, panic, threats or the strength and size of their attacker.
Rape. Let us just keep saying this word, a word which the society loathes, a word which most of us hesitate in saying out loud. But it’s the one word we need to keep saying until justice is served.