Rape Culture: when Society Normalizes Sexual Violence

Mainly pertaining to women, “the way she dressed, she was asking for it” or we have all heard it before, “boys will be boys”. Today men and women just assume sexual assault is inevitable. Rape culture also pertains to the jokes made on wide range of media such as music and tv shows/movies, anything that normalizes violence against women. A lot of people think that’s just the way things are, but from my perception we were taught it from a very young age. If a boy would pull our hair or snap our bra strap, they are just young boy they don’t understand. Making it be that girl just must deal with harassment and they can’t say anything about it.

Between August and November is what experts would consider the “red zone” which is believed to be the most dangerous time on campus for sexual assault. It was reported to the RAINN, which is the Rape, Abuse and incest national network, that around 50% of all sexual violence happened within the first 6 weeks of school. Most often these first few weeks filled with alcoholic drinks. Freshman students are most vulnerable to do the less experience with drinking. Plenty of school’s nationwide have are acting with trying to prevent such events by implementing sexual assault training. There may be a lot of action taken on campus, but around 23.1 percent of women and 5.4 percent of men have experience sexual assault during their college career (RAINN, 2015). By making the red zone a term known, it produces rape culture because it is encouraging the idea of the dangerous time and tells you what not to do so you aren’t sexual assaulted.

Schools around the world are dealing with sexual violence. Ohio university’s students are taking actions. Greek sorites have started to make statement with their banners, unlike normal slander being put up, they put “No does not mean convince me,” “Our bodies, our rules,” and “Stand with survivors.” (Murphy, 2018). The schools have had an over whelming amount of sexual assaults happen, over a dozen have been reported in just four weeks into the school year. A lot of people would like to think that this is more than normal but is a national average for colleges. At Ohio university two girls took it into their control to create a group chat for girls that are intoxicated and alone called Safe walk home, more than 500 girls joined the group. The group provides a safe way for women to get home, action like that in opinion should happen college wide.

New Federal law requires schools to educate new students and staff about rape, dating violence and sexual violence. Most colleges require incoming freshman to complete an online course that offers information on rape, healthy dating and alcohol abuse. A study that was published in 2015 by the New England journal medicine, showed an extraordinary success with a different program called “assess, acknowledge, and, if necessary, rebuff unwanted sexual advances.” Which reduced female students’ chances of being sexual assaulted by 50 percent. (Newman, 2017) Like most programs though this taught people that it was females’ fault for being sexually assaulted. The down fall to every set program for women is that it has victim blaming and teaches young adults that they are at fault for such harmful doing. Plenty of colleges are still trying to find a specific protocol for so they don’t have victim blaming.

The statement that boys will be boys, is very controversial in today’s ages, the statement tells us that boys aren’t to blame for their harmful action and that it is females at fault who had produced that type of action from them. If women come together though it is seen that we can help each other from such a harsh environment and to become our own saviors. Colleges should try to work together to stop victim blaming and find a better way to get information out about sexual violence. In conclusion, rape culture can be found at every school, we just must find ways into prevent sexual violence from occurring without victim blaming.

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