Rape Culture: Rape in the US

By Rachel Fergus.

I am willing to bet that you have heard of Brock Turner, that you know he raped a girl and yet he was released from jail after three months. Now, this man that should be behind bars is considering starting a speaking tour, encouraging high school students not to drink. As incredibly infuriating as Turner’s case is, we are surrounded by rape victims and rapists that never served a day in prison for their actions.

Robin Camp, a Federal Court Justice in Canada ruled over a rape case in 2014. After all the evidence had been presented against man who raped the victim over a sink, Camp turned to the victim and asked, “Why couldn’t you just keep your knees together? Why didn’t you just sink your bottom down into the basin so he couldn’t penetrate you?” The judge went on to say women “…want to have sex, particularly…they’re drunk.” After critiquing the victim, Camp turned to the alleged rapist and said, “I want you to tell your friends, your male friends, that they have to be far more gentle with women.” Judge Camp then pronounced the defendant innocent. Thankfully, Robin Camp is under review and may be removed from the bench. Meanwhile, the alleged rapist’s case was overturned and he will soon return to court.

A third case that surfaced in the news was that of Stacey Dean Rambold, a 47-year-old, Montana teacher, who raped his 14-year-old student. Despite pleading guilty, the teacher was sentenced to only 31 days in prison. What was the judge’s reasoning? He claimed the teen “seemed older than her chronological age.” Later, Judge Baugh apologized for his decision and tried to issue a new sentence, but he did not have the legal standing to do so. However, the Montana Supreme court took on the case and sentenced Rambold to ten years in prison. But, this was all too late for the victim to see, because she took her life in 2010.

Though these three cases were covered fairly well in the media, the reality is that women are raped or sexually assaulted way more frequently than people realize. Brace yourself for some terrifying facts:

According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), the nation’s largest anti-sex violence organization, 54% of rapes are not reported. More than half of rapes are not reported due to shame, fear, and a plethora of other reasons.

The CDC says that the chance of a woman being raped is 1 out of 5. Twenty percent of women will be raped in their lifetime. It is even more likely that college women are raped- the CDC says there is about one in four chances a woman in college will be raped. Despite the incredibly high rate of rapes in the country, 97% of rapists do not spend a day in prison.

Finally, and most heart-breaking, 15% of all sexual assault and rape victims in the United States are under 12 years old (RAINN).

Though lowering these statistics seems like a daunting task, there are ways we can all work towards ending the rape culture we live in. I implore you to visit bustle.com and read the eight ways to fight the rape culture.


Picture Credits : Chase Carter


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