Rape is forced and unwanted sexual intercourse that’s always a twisted power issue.
The victim can be female or male, although the stats show that it’s more often a female. (However, it’s also important to keep in mind that males are less likely to report an incident than females are, so the stats aren’t accurately reflecting reality.)
Rape is never an easy topic to discuss, especially when you’re the victim: “Will they blame me and think that I was ‘asking for it’?” “Will they believe me?” “Why did this happen to me?”
It isn’t any wonder why so many rapes go unreported. And the stats don’t sing any happy-hardcore tunes, either. Play the violins.
I Need It – Stat!
According to Helen Lenskyj in An Analysis of Violence Against Women: A Manual for Educators and Administrators, an insane 60% of Canadian college-aged males indicated that they’d commit sexual assault if they were certain they wouldn’t get caught! Glock that!
So for them, it seems that the crime is only deemed wrong if they suffer negative consequences. Oh how I’m reminded once more that we live in a fucked-up Me Generation.
Statistics Canada’s The Violence Against Women Survey indicated that 50% of all Canadian women experienced at least one incident of sexual or physical violence. Of those women, nearly 60% were victims of more than one of those incidents! What the glock?
Clearly if it’s been happening more than once, we need to examine why this is the case and we must teach women how to stand up for themselves and report these crimes to prevent them from happening again or we’ll just continue this sick cycle carousel.
Chances are that if you aren’t a victim yourself, you know someone who is. Despicable behaviour like rape or sexual assault shouldn’t be a hush-hush topic. Let’s talk about it openly so that women can learn to arm themselves mentally and know what to do if (heaven forbid) they’re ever put in that situation.
Surviving rape is probably one of the most challenging things that a woman can go through. But by actively seeking out positive support, you can go from survivor to thriver.
Things to Remember & Things That’ll Help:
- Blame: It’s not your fault & nothing you did or didn’t do will ever justifiy a rape.
- Trust: It may be hard for you to get close to others, but in time, you will be able to. Don’t let some asshole screw up your future relationships. It’s not worth it.
- Control: After this bad experience, you probably feel vulnerable and like you’re not in control of your life. You are! Build up your self-confidence again by concentrating on the things you can readily control like your diet – hit the gym regularly and eat healthy meals.
- Accept: The only way you can move forward is to accept that something bad happened to you, but you can’t let it rule your every waking minute. Accept it, but don’t dwell on it.
- Distract: Keep yourself busy doing the things you love to do (like joining a martial-arts class or learning how to cook a new vegetarian dish).
- Vent: Instead of bottling up your emotions or masking them with booze, redirect it to something positive & artistic such as oil painting, playing a musical instrument, or designing jewelry.
Resources (Because You’re Not Alone):
- Women Against Violence Against Women: http://www.wavaw.ca
- Vancouver Rape Relief & Women’s Shelter: http://www.rapereliefshelter.bc.ca
- Toronto Rape Crisis Centre: http://www.trccmwar.ca/crisis.html
- Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre: http://www.orcc.net
- Men Can Stop Rape: http://www.mencanstoprape.org
- Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network: http://www.rainn.org
- Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault: http://www.mocsa.org
- Pandora’s Aquarium (an online support community): http://www.welcometobarbados.org/pandoras.html