Essay about Sexual Assaults
In today’s society sexual assault, such as rape, is beginning to normalize amongst college campuses, workplaces, in homes, and even in religious institutions. Rape culture is a concept that rape is normalized due to societal attitudes about gender and sexuality. Typically, the victims are blamed for the incident instead of the assailants and males are seen as more sexually violent and aggressive. What people do not understand is that rape is not limited to gender or sexual orientation, and physical appearance. These cultural myths are what provides the media to produce such horrific stories about sexual assault and make it a norm.
Date rape is becoming one of the most common types of rape, especially on college campuses or can include campus affiliations. Date rape is a type of rape that involves acquaintances and a substance/drug, such as alcohol, or recreational drug use and forceful sexual intercourse. In this case, the victim is unable to give consensual consent to the partner to consent to sexual intercourse, or any sexual behavior.
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Both individuals can be under the influence at the time, such as the case between Peter and Sue. They both were drinking alcohol that night, which suppressed their thoughts to think clearly. In this scenario, I would believe that Peter is in the wrong, because in his mind he confronted the idea that she put on some resistance, but he still kept going forward with it, because of rape cultural myths. He thought most women like to resist because they do not seem upset by it. This is one part of the story where being under the influence can cause a misunderstanding. If Peter were able to think clearly, maybe he would have noticed that she was not interested in progressing forward.
Peter, at the beginning of the night, probably thought that Sue would want to “hook up” with him, or that she was “asking for it” because she wore a tight black dress and she had a certain look on her face as if she was inviting him over. This is where slut-shaming comes into play. Society naturally blames women for the way they dress and for their actions and say that this is the cause for them being sexually harassed and assaulted by the assailants.
This is a “rape myth,” because Sue’s intention was not to go have sexual intercourse with anyone that night, she went to the party because she wanted to have a good time, and to look good at the same time. Another “rape myth” that could have been used in this situation is that Sue could have been fanaticizing about having forceful sexual intercourse with a good looking guy like Peter, due to jealousy of her other friends.
There are many elements of “rape culture” presented in this scenario. Society would blame Sue for wearing a tight black dress to a party. Mainly media has provoked society’s way of thinking about sexual assault. Society has conformed and morphed their thoughts that people, women in particular, who dress themselves as “more appealing,” are asking to be sexually harassed or assaulted. This is incorrect, because women are not the only sex being assaulted.
Women rape men and men rape men too. This is also an incorrect stereotype, because women and men should have the right to dress how the please, but that is not giving the perpetrator consent to rape them. Another element presented in this scenario is that men are more violent and aggressive and society encourages that, because a man ought to have “man like” characteristics. It is perceived as “sexy” for a man to be aggressive and dominant, while the female plays submissive and plays along.
I find it hard to put myself in Peter’s shoes, because I do not drink, especially to the amount where I become under the influence. I would never want to get to a point where my thoughts are not clear enough to make the right decisions. Nobody, women especially, are not to be treated as just objects. This is what happens when a man drinks too much. Objectification makes its way in and Peter looks at Sue as just another girl with a nice body, and does not attend to her emotional needs. I would not have kept going if Sue had shown resistance, which she did in this scenario. She not only tried to push away, but she also started to cry. Peter probably thought that she could not handle all of him, but according to Sue, she just did not want to go any further to that level.
Legally in if this were to happen in the state of Florida, by law, this would have been categorized as sexual battery and not sexual assault. Florida law states that sexual battery is means of oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ of another or the anal or vaginal penetration of another by any other object. Consensual sex in Florida is defined as by the age of the individual. The minimum age of consent is 18 years old in the state of Florida. If an individual were under the age of consent, by law, it would be labeled as statutory rape if someone the over the age of 18 years old had consensual sex with the minor.
The penalties that result from committing sexual battery depends on the age of the victim, whether any weapons were used, and if the victim suffered any personal injuries. If the assailant forced himself or herself on a minor under the age of twelve and is over the age of 18, they would be prosecuted to the death penalty or life imprisonment without the chance of parole. If the victim is over the age of 12 and the assailant is under the age of 18 they could face life in prison or a minimum of 30 years of imprisonment.
There are ways to seek help if one were a victim of such a crime. There are many situations to which a person who suspects sexual abuse can report to authorities. For children it is mandatory for a professional adult to report abuse to the Dept. of Children and Family Services.
If it involves a 16 year getting impregnated by an individual over the age of 21, then the local law enforcement should be contacted immediately. Although cases may reach justice and the perpetrator is put behind bars, victims/survivors often suffer mental, emotional, and sometimes physical damages. Only time will tell when victims are able to have a sense of a normal living before the day they were sexually assaulted. “