By Madelyn Knecht.
“Me, too” has become the most heartbreaking phrase on social media.
A long-buried problem, the true issue of sexual assault is finally beginning to see light as women are stepping up and speaking out about their experiences with sexual assault.
Inspired by the Weinstein case, women have been using the hashtag #MeToo in order to express their feelings and personal experiences, or even simply to offer their support to one another. The heartbreaking reality is coming to light, as well; that not even all women with these experiences are speaking out. We are still only seeing the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the rampant amount of sexual assault occurring in the US.
And for those saying that “well, maybe they’re lying…” it’s proven that about only 2% of sexual assault accusations turn out to be false.
One in four women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime.
SOCIETY AT FAULT
Society is focused on the fact that this happens to women instead of the fact that men (and some women) do this to other people.
The blame needs to shift. Instead of asking rape victims, “Why were you with them? What were you wearing?”, we need to discuss the real perpetrators; rapists. We need to figure out what, in our culture, is enabling the mindset that aggressive men can take whatever they want from a woman and not face the consequences. It is proven that rape isn’t an act of uncontrollable sexual arousal, but actually an act of control and aggression, so enough “stop dressing to tempt men.”
Enough being apologetic towards the rapists. Enough giving them a break because “boys will be boys” or they “feel bad” or have “such a bright future.” Enough blaming victims.
Boys and men are responsible for their own actions, and our society needs to make some serious adjustments in how we treat rapists.
Even with all of this coming out, there are still those who are skeptical of victims and their stories.
So for those asking, “Why don’t you report it?”, take a look at these numbers. 994 out of 1,000 rapists walk free. Women don’t trust the system because the system doesn’t believe them.
We live in a society where a person can spend more time in jail for drugs than for raping someone.
Things need to change. The way we approach sexual assault, its victims, and its perpetrators is completely backwards, and allows hundreds of people–not only women, but men as well–to be left feeling unsafe and unheard.
Never-heard stories are finally unfolding, and society needs to listen.