Monday, July 26, 2010

Double victimization

Today, I read that a girl had been sexually assaulted at an FSU frat party. This information was disturbing enough, but what I read after that was even more disgusting. The writer directed this statement to the victim, “you went to the party, what did you honestly expect would happen?” I can guarantee you that the victim was not expecting to get raped. I am sick of hearing crass and untrue statements such as this that only perpetuate the idea that somehow rape is the victim’s fault. “She was wearing revealing clothes, so even though she said no she really meant yes.” “She didn’t lock all of her doors and windows at night so it’s her fault.” “She was walking down the street at night by herself, she was asking for it.” We never hear these statements about men. Men are allowed to wear what they want, walk where they want, and forget to lock a door without fear of being blamed for any mishaps. If someone robs them, the robber is at fault. Why is it not the same for women? Women are expected to live in this sheltered, cautioned world with a fraction of the freedoms men get. Yet, when something goes wrong, we instinctively blame them. “They weren’t careful enough,” or “they should have known.” Until we, as a society, start pointing our fingers at the real perpetrators, the rapists, nothing will ever change. We have laws against rape, yet so many women are afraid to press charges because of how they will look. The one’s that do press charges have the added burden of proving there was no consent. Because of our hostile view of victims, many rapists simply get away with it, and are free to continue their heinous behavior. It is time for a societal shift in view point. We need to stand up and point our fingers where they truly belong; at the rapist.