Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Why Accusations of Rape are Always True

I cannot - cannot - stand hearing or reading one more person defending a rapist. I don't care how nice the person was to you. I don't care how good of a parent they were. THEY RAPED SOMEONE.

Rape is the worst crime a human being can commit against another. Defending a rapist is therefore worse than defending a murderer. Why? No one died, you might say. There are many reasons why rape is worse than murder.

No one blames a murder victim. People are willing to talk about murder. They're willing to openly commiserate with surviving family members. They are willing to condemn the murderer's actions. Obviously, murder is a horrible crime that leaves a terrible hole in a community. Of course, someone who commits such an act needs to face justice. But people heal. People and communities are allowed to heal.

But rape? What happens with rape?

No one talks about it.

No one.

And when someone does... that person is shunned. They are shamed. They are adamantly disbelieved. They are blamed for bringing the violation on themselves. They are told they put themselves in a vulnerable place, you know, by trusting someone they knew to treat them with respect (like normal people do all the time!!!). Because of course, most rapists are people known by the victim.

Then, when an accusation is made, which without DNA evidence is damn hard to PROVE IN COURT, society at large decides she is lying (I say she because most rape victims are female), because, of course, the victim is trying to tarnish this good man's name (most rapists are male) by putting this on a record somewhere.

And then the community rushes in to defend this scum who thought it was acceptable to put his penis in someone's vagina or anus or mouth without their consent.

That is what we're talking about here. Not only are we talking about defending someone who is putting a person at risk for physical trauma such as tissue damage, unwanted pregnancy, and virulent diseases, but also the much more painful and long lasting trauma of total distrust. How can someone ever trust anyone again? When you have been raped by a friend, family member, colleague, or partner how is it possible to trust a person? To have healthy relationships with other people?

This violation continues to impact every single person a rape victim comes into contact with because it necessarily shapes how they view other people. It necessarily impacts communities much more than murder because it continues to impact people throughout the life of the victim. Rape therefore, is absolutely worse than murder because the wound continues, may be reopened, and may fester.

A rape victim has nothing to gain by breaking their silence for a public accusation. If they are lucky they will find legal justice. And that is if they have DNA evidence and or witnesses. Breaking silence is a painful, difficult thing for a victim because society tends to disbelieve and blame rape victims.

So what does that mean? It means that absolutely, every single time a person makes an accusation of rape, it happened. Maybe it didn't happen exactly how it is portrayed, through a combination of PTSD, drugs, or alcohol, but it did happen.

Rape is not something the mind makes up. It is not easy to talk about in a culture where women are devalued, objectified, and used. It is not easy to come forward and break silence. So, the next time you read about someone being raped, defend them. They are more brave than you can possibly imagine. They are more powerful than we give them credit for, because they did one thing that society hates.

They told the truth.

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