The Hunting Ground

Lady Gaga- Til it Happens to You

I feel as though the wind has been knocked out of me.. As if, I have turned to stone. This touches close to home, and unfortunately silence tends to be the assumed coping mechanism for many. The Hunting Ground- trailer Watch the trailer, and join the movement to bring upon change on college campuses. I have made it my life mission to put an end to rape culture; it’s far-fetched but I believe it is possible. I know everyone cannot be protected, but I can still try. Victimization is a hard thing to overcome, especially when you are repeatedly a victim.

Educate yourself please. Part of an essay I wrote discussing rape myths and the difficulty victims face coming forward.

“Rape is unique. No other violent crime is so fraught with controversy, so enmeshed with dispute…. For centuries, it has been asserted and assumed that women “cry rape,” that a large proportion of rape allegations are maliciously concocted for purposes of revenge or other motives” (Lisak, Gardinier & Cote, 2010). Rape is much more common than people realize, but due to under-reporting it is hard to validate the statistics. Due to the adopted attitudes of stereotypical rape myths among society and criminal justice systems, fewer victims are reporting assaults. Rape myth is the “prejudicial, stereotyped or false beliefs about rape, rape victims, and rapists” (Burt, 1980). By accepting the belief that most rape victims are lying, society is enabling victim-blaming by shifting the negative attributions from the perpetrator to the victim. Victims are receiving all of the focus and responsibility for the crime committed against them; therefore, reporting rates and conviction rates have lowered significantly (Sleath & Bull, 2015). Women start to feel re-victimized by law officials and society when coming forward. Assigning blame to the victim sends the message that sexual assault is condoned, because if a woman/man did not want a rape to occur then they could have prevented it by fighting back. Women are taught how to dress and act in a way that will not provoke rape, because men cannot control themselves and are not responsible for their actions. An excuse for justifying rape is more common than an offender being held responsible, especially for men. First, men are portrayed as being individuals who become so sexually frustrated that they cannot fight the urge. Next, in order to be a rapist one must be mentally ill. In addition, women are said to have poor judgment and promiscuous tendencies. Believing a man would rape a person intentionally is hard to accept among people, so they tolerate the notion that women ask for it. If a woman dresses in provocative clothing, then she asked for it. If a woman flirts, then she wants it. If a woman consumed drugs or alcohol, then she brought the situation upon herself. “It is very tempting to take the side of the perpetrator. All the perpetrator asks is that the bystander do nothing…. The victim, on the contrary, asks the bystander to share the burden of pain. The victim demands action, engagement, and remembering” (Herman, 1992).

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