we've been in deep for awhile. there's been a massive twitter storm after weinstein's outing of his history of being a perpetrator of sexual assault. women are flooding social media with "Me, too". which is great, but still keeping the focus on the victim.
we talk about how a woman dresses, how much she had to drink, who she's slept with and how many, yet there's very little focus on the perpetrator. we don't tell boys to pay attention in class, we ridicule the girl who wore a tank top to school. we teach our women to guard their drinks, use our car keys as daggers, and we don't teach people how to not perp. we boycott the NFL for taking a knee, but we'll buy the jersey of the quarterback who has been accused of sexual assault four times. we give little to no consequences to a person who commits sexual assault. we are worried about their future careers, education, or swimming careers (i see you brock turner). we normalize violence by telling little girls that when a boy is mean to you, that means he likes you. this is far beyond "boys will be boys", this is rape culture. putting out a statement of encouragement and support is wonderful, but i'd like for all these voices to start more of a conversation, start a revolution; instead of the acknowledgement that we have all experienced sexual assault of some form.
1 in 4 women will experience sexual assault. 1 in 2 women with experience some form of sexual violence. 44% of them are under the age of 18. 90% of them know the perp in some way. 98% of perps will never see a day in jail. the stats only continue to grow.
68% aren't reported. why? because we are conditioned to question and blame them. it's easier to carry this secret, than it is to come forward. sexual violence is one of the only crimes where a victim has to prove that they're a victim. when there's a perp that's been allowed to keep up their behavior, the more victims they accumulate. when one comes forward, more feel safe to say something. and "false reports" only account for about 2% of all reported sexual assaults...so that means 98% of reported sexual assaults are true.
we aren't owed anyone's story. when stories like this come up, we turned to the survivors and almost demand that they out themselves to the community to allow for people to know it's happening here too. shame on us. we aren't in charge of that story. we aren't allowed to determine who it gets told to; it's not our song to sing. instead of investing our time in "tragedy porn", let's change the culture. you don't have to be someone's brother, father, mother, or sister to do something about this. we all know a victim of sexual assault (male and female).
survivors, you are brave. you are fierce. you are a force. not only will i say "me, too", but i will fight with you and for you.