Men are little by little raising their voices to support women. They are realizing that their mothers, their aunts, their sisters, their wives, their daughters, their cousins, their friends and every woman they know have a chance of becoming a statistic of sexual assault.
A scenario that needs to come to an end, but that will not be possible if men never join us, women, in our fight. The problem here is not against men, but about the way that a man’s issue has been turned around to be made a woman’s one.
It’s imperative that we acknowledge that it’s not women’s way of dressing or their being alone in the wrong place at the wrong time, or even their choice of drink that makes them vulnerable; it’s the behavior of the man who assaults her and who threatens her integrity what causes the problem. It’s the way we have raised our children to become the men they are today.
Common to our society is the issue of sexism. Men are taught, from a very early age, to be manly, to not cry, to behave dominantly at all costs over women, and this should not be the norm. Men should be able to be sensitive, to understand a woman’s humanity because she is human, not only because we are their mothers or sisters. Men should be able to respect a woman’s dignity as much as they do it with their own gender.
Yes, we know that men are also subjects of sexual assault, and it is something women also fight for, but the number of women falling under the category is way more overwhelming.
The statistics show why fighting for women’s protection is far more urgent than men’s. Note that we’re stressing it is more urgent, not more important.
According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, sexual assault in the United States goes as follows:
“1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives.”
The difference in numbers between women and men is outrageous.
“51.1% of female victims of rape reported being raped by an intimate partner and 40.8% by an acquaintance.”
Being an intimate partner does not entitle a person to force themselves on their significant other. The act of intimacy has to be consensual EVERY SINGLE TIME. Otherwise, let’s call it what it is: rape.
“In 8 out of 10 cases of rape, the victim knew the perpetrator in some way. 8% of rapes occur while the victim is at work.”
Knowing that in most cases the perpetrator is someone known is frightening. People you trust, people you may even care about, people you talk to and interact with: they become the ones who hurt you.
“Almost half (49.5%) of multiracial women and over 45% of American Indian/Alaska Native women will be subjected to some form of sexual violence in their lifetime.”
Women who are viewed by men as part of a group considered a minority have higher chances of becoming victims. Let’s change the narrative by protecting women of all fronts, not just one group.
We need to improve our law enforcement practices, we need better protection for the victims, and a higher and greater disposition on behalf of everybody to believe women who report abuse and assault.
It’s unacceptable to learn that “rape is the most under-reported crime, with 63% of sexual assaults not reported to police.” All because the victims feel they will be dismissed.
They think they won’t be taken seriously or, even worse, that they will be blamed for it in return. They believe their families will accuse them, while their lives shatter.
Among other statistics, we found the cost and impact of sexual assault in the United States:
“The lifetime cost of rape per victim is $122,461. Annually, rape costs the U.S. more than any other crime with $127 billion, followed by assault with $93 billion, murder with $71 billion, and drunk driving, including fatalities with $61 billion.”
Then, why is rape being so swept under the rug? Why is it being put as false, as misleading, as dismissible? One really wonders.
“81% of women report significant short or long-term impacts such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Health care is 36% higher for women who were physically and sexually abused as a child.”
Let’s keep in mind that becoming a victim of abuse does not only affect someone physically. The implications are emotional and mental, as well as financial, social and more.
“20% - 25% of college women are victims of forced sex during their time in college. A 2002 study revealed that 63.3% of men at one university who self-reported acts qualifying as rape or attempted rape admitted to committing repeat rapes.
More than 90% of sexual assault victims on college campuses do not report the assault. 27% of college women have experienced some form of unwanted sexual contact. Nearly two thirds of college students experience sexual harassment.”
The rape culture has become so intimidating that coming forward with an accusation has far more implications and consequences for the victim than for the actual perpetrator.
This is one of the main reasons why women decide to not report any circumstance regarding sexual assault or harassment. The general feeling is: “They won’t believe me.” It’s not fair to have girls and women threatened by their own silence.
If you have been a victim of any kind of harassment or sexual abuse or assault, know you are not alone and you have nothing to fear. Justice should be on your side and help is available. There’s nothing to be ashamed of. You were in no part whatsoever to blame for what you had to go through.
Report the situation. You may be helping to save other women from going through it all with the same perpetrator.
Here are some online resources you can access if you want to get help or report a crime, because sexual assault IS a crime:
Remember, you are not alone. Everyday more and more people are joining the fight to help and protect women. We are proud to be on that list, and we encourage you to become part of the solution too.
At Alana Athletica, we empower, educate and employ victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, with your help when they buy one of our pants.
Each pant sponsors self-defense classes, training, and education for many women. By helping them gain financial independence and education, we are supporting their families and communities as well, seeding the path for personal growth and success.
Sexual Assault in the US. Get statistics. (2018) in National Sexual Violence Resource Center. Retrieved from https://www.nsvrc.org/statistics