4 Ways To Stand Against Rape Culture

Source: Unsplash A single incidence of sexual abuse is already alarming in itself— and yet, this atrocity continues to occur all over the country and across the world. A report from the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey revealed that 43.6% of women and 24.8% of men experience rape within their lifetimes. Unfortunately, the majority of these individuals are victims of sexual crimes before they even turn twenty-five. Though these sexual crimes are already painful for the victims, it's also hard for individuals to pursue justice on their own. An incident in Kansas City shows a convicted felon raped and beaten up five women on separate occasions, only to end up on parole. One of the victims even had to re-live her trauma when she was asked to testify against the criminal on a charge that's similar to her case. She's currently trying to find peace and heal from the experience through a long-term residential counselling program at Veronica's Voice, proving that victims need more allies against rape culture. This cycle of pain and abuse can come to an end, especially if everyone works together to stop rape culture. In fact, you have the power to make changes within yourself and your community through these steps: End victim-blaming Victim-blaming happens way too often in personal spaces, as well as in public and professional spaces. Putting the blame on victims means predators will remain unaccountable for the pain and the crimes that they've inflicted on others. A study that looked into the phenomenon revealed that people resort to blaming victims because they believe that bad things only happen to bad people. This twisted perspective causes people to overlook the fact that perpetrators are solely responsible for violating the rights of others. So whether you know a rape victim or are struggling with blaming yourself, it’s important to acknowledge that this crime is never the victim’s fault. By putting an end to victim-blaming, you and many other individuals will find the strength to carry out justice and find healing. Join community programs It takes a village to make positive changes within community areas. By joining or even starting your own community program, you can run projects that can change an individual’s life. Community programs provide accessible support for rape victims, which is why it’s important to coordinate with members of law enforcement to protect victims of sexual crimes. Community programs can mobilize local police officers to respond to emergency situations, while criminal investigators can collect evidence that will help individuals achieve justice. Aside from assisting victims in their journey towards justice, these experts can raise the community's awareness regarding the signs and the consequences of crimes like rape. Lobby for laws After learning more about law enforcement, you and other community members may team up and stand against rape culture through lobbying for better sexual assault laws. By communicating with the district government, you can enact legislations that prevent rape and protect victims. The collective action of community members has an impact on the passing of critical bills for victims of sexual crimes, such as Senate Bills 154 and 227 in Kansas. While these bills seek to provide justice for rape victims, they have not been implemented due to the lack of broad support. Recognizing that legislations can prevent the occurrence of rape and vindicate victims from wrong accusations, collective support and action is essential for pushing these bills into laws. Educate different generations Consent is a very simple concept, but it plays a powerful role in eradicating rape culture. By teaching different generations of people about the importance of consent, you can help individuals understand the dangers of sexual crime. This is especially important for children who are still learning how to navigate this world. Recognizing that they can be vulnerable to sexual crimes, non-profits are carrying out sexuality education workshops to teach individuals about the importance of consent. Once people have understood the weight of giving their permission, it is easier to explain how dangerous and frightening sexual assault can be. But through this educational lesson, individuals of all ages can learn to respect one’s consent and put an end to rape culture in their own way. The small actions that you take are significant in creating a safer environment for everyone. By fostering a culture that is just and compassionate, you can empower victims while reducing the incidence of sexual crimes.

Written by Freya Adan


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