Teach Boys Not To Rape

Audrie Pott

Audrie Pott

It has not been long since the Steubenville Ohio rape case, and unfortunately two other rape cases have come out with similar scenarios but have ended in death.

Tragically, Audrie Pott,  a fifteen year old girl from California hanged herself after being sexually assaulted by three boys.

Not too long ago, Rehtaeh Parsons  a seventeen year old Canadian girl also hanged herself after being sexually assaulted by four boys.

 

This story is repeating itself over and over again and it has to stop. We need to teach boys not to rape. We need to teach

Rehtaeh Parsons

Rehtaeh Parsons

boys to respect women. Just like we hold women morally responsible for their sexuality, we need to make men accountable for their sexuality as well. Women should not bear the burden of worrying about what to do to not get raped. The victim should not feel shame the rapist should. These boys in all three cases behaved like beasts, like wild animals in the jungle.

As a woman I should not expect to be raped or sexually assaulted. I should not have to tell my future daughters to expect to be violated by men. We as women have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, living in fear of getting raped or sexually assaulted takes that right away from us. I am calling for justice for Rehtaeh, Audrie, the women in the Congo, and the women sold into sexual slavery every day. They deserve justice.

For any woman who has been sexually assaulted suicide is not the answer. There is life after being raped, there is happiness and there is a future filled with hope.

If you have been raped there is help available for you

National Sexual Assault Hotline – 1.800.656.HOPE

http://www.rainn.org/get-help/national-sexual-assault-hotline

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Sexual Assault/ Abuse Does Not Define You

stebeunville rape photo #2 (1)

As most of you know from my previous blog post and tweets, I have been closely following the Steubenville Ohio Rape case.

Both boys, Trent Mays and Mailik Richmond, were found guilty. And the punishment fits the crime: [They]will serve their sentence at a juvenile detention facility until they turn 21, and both will be labeled as sex offenders for the rest of their lives.

In spite of all the ugliness surrounding this case, the victim’s mother conveyed a message of hope when she addressed Richmond and Mays at the end of the trial: “This does not define who my daughter is. She will persevere, grow and move on.  Her mother could not have said it any better. This is a message of hope for her daughter and millions of women around the world who have been raped, or sexually abused.

Sexual assault/abuse does not define you.

When someone violates you sexually, that can be hard to heal from.  Take your hurt, your pain, your shame and do something great with it, gather strength from it and move on.

I also what to extend this message to women who have chosen sex work, stripping, who have pursued a promiscuous lifestyle, or have experienced the heart ache of being used and dumped by a man like a Kleenex:

What you do or do not do with a penis, or what a man does to you, do not define who you are.

Rape is Rape

Steubenville Ohio Rapist:  Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmon,

Steubenville Ohio Rapists: Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmon,

When it comes to sex, no means no, and stop means stop.  I promise you that there is no hidden meaning. And if a woman is passed out drunk, then she is in no condition to consent to sex.  But who would want to have sex with an unconscious woman? Unfortunately for the sixteen year old victim involved in the Steubenville Ohio rape case, this is exactly what happened. She was unconscious while two males “penetrated her vaginally with their fingers, and then distributed pictures of her and one of the perpetrators masturbated on her. I can feel the vomit rise in the back of my throat while reading how these monsters violated and exploited this young girl.

Victim Blaming

Another aspect of this case that is disgusting is the victim blaming. People are blaming the victim  for being drunk, blame her parents, and believe that it was her lack of morals that caused this situation. Some even believe that she wanted it, or that she gave consent before she passed out. This is utterly disturbing. But what is even more disturbing is that the perpetrators in question, Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmon, don’t have any remorse for the crimes they committed against this young woman.

No is no. And no consent given still means no. It doesn’t take a genius to figure that out. I don’t care how short your skirt is, if you’re walking down the street naked, or if you’re drunk and high all at once and passed out on the corner, no man has the right to penetrate you in any way. As a society we need to stop blaming the victims.  The fault lies with the rapists.

Unity

As women we should stand behind this young girl, not pick her apart. We need to set the standard that what happened to this girl and what happens to millions of women around the world on a daily basis is not okay. I cringed when I read tweets from other women bashing this girl. What if you were drunk and unconscious, would you want random men sticking their fingers up your crotch? What if she was your sister, your best friend or daughter? . When a fellow woman is raped we need to support her.

Rape does not discriminate       

Rape does not discriminate against race, age, or social status. It is a monster that knows no boundaries. Single women are raped, women are raped by their boyfriends or friends, and yes some women are raped by their husbands. It happens to the prostitute on the corner, or the student innocently walking home. I call on women who have sons to teach them to respect women. Teach your sons that sex is not a right, that a woman is not a toy, and that they should not act out their sick porn-influenced fantasies on a woman who has not given her consent.

My Plea

This hatred against women needs to stop. No one deserves to get raped.

Hope in the Rape Capital of the World

Masika Katsuva

“Life for a woman in the Congo is suffering.” Masika tells the camera as she digs a field in a tiny village in Eastern Congo.

Masika is a rape survivor. Rebel forces invaded her hometown, raping both her and her two daughters in front of her husband. The militia then killed her husband and forced Masika to eat his private parts.

But Masika’s experience is not uncommon for women living in Eastern Congo. Every hour 48 women are raped.

Some have been raped more than once. Brutally. In a recent BBC Radio Documentary, An Unspeakable Act, victims of rape recall the butts of guns, sticks, and knives shoved up their private parts by their rapists. Some of the women lose their ability to have kids. Others complain about the pain they experience when urinating

And rape has become more systematized. Organized rape camps are set up and women expect to be raped by gangs of 10 to 20 men.  A teen rapist, when asked how he feels after raping, laughingly says that he feels happy.

In the documentary, Field of Hope, Masika’s daughter describes her pain,anger and loss:

I had dreams of going to school, of becoming a lawyer. That was my dream. But everything was shattered after what happened to me….I feel a lot of emptiness inside of me. I got to the point of wanting to kill Stevie [her child of rape]. 

But amidst this backdrop of pain and despair, Masika rents a field. It is her hope that the 170 women and children, victims of rape who she cares for, will benefit from this investment.

I am amazed by Masika’s ability to move beyond her pain and become the glue that holds this community of women and children together. Her desire is to help restore these women to their old selves: “Many think that when they’re raped their lives are shattered, but we’d like them to know it’s not the end of the world.”

Support Masika visit her blog at http://masikarebeca.wordpress.com