According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. On average, there are 321,500 victims of rape and sexual assault each year in the United States. One out of every six American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime. 21% of TGQN (transgender, genderqueer, nonconforming) college students have been sexually assaulted.
Not only do people have to suffer in the moment of being sexually assaulted, but they can also have long-term effects. The likelihood that a person suffers suicidal or depressive thoughts increases after sexual violence. People who have been sexually assaulted are more likely to use drugs than the general public.
These statistics alone prove that sexual assault happens too often and to too many innocent people. These numbers aren’t even completely factual, however. A 2000 study from the Bureau of Justice Statistics found that only 28% of victims report their sexual assault to the police. That means 72% of victims don’t report their assault to law enforcement officials. These numbers would be higher if every single person who was ever sexually assaulted reported it. I’m scared to think of how high these numbers would jump.
Why does this continue to happen? What makes people believe they have the right to disregard someone’s consent for their own sexual desire? I think Rape Culture has a lot to do with this issue. Rape Culture is an environment in which sexual violence against women is normalized and/or excused in our society and media.
Image by Senior Airman Clayton Lenhardt via U.S. Air Force.
Women and girls most often have to fear sexual assault while men often do not. According to One In Four, for female rape survivors, 98.1% of the time a man was the perpetrator. For male rape survivors, 93% of the time, a man was the perpetrator. The common factor here is that men rape much more often than women rape.
Does this happen because of the way boys are raised? Is pop culture to blame? Where along the way did someone tell boys it was okay to do whatever they wanted? Now I want to know what you guys think. Why does rape happen? Who, or what, is to blame? Post your answers in the comments.
Thanks for reading! I can’t wait to see what you guys think.