So today I wanted to write something that is very close to my heart. I recently started to work with an organization that does advocacy for victims of sexual assault and rape. One of their main purposes is to also educate the community about assault and rape. Some are quick to conclude that education is not needed, “everyone knows what rape is.” However, there are some major misconceptions within our society. A majority of our population when hearing the word “rape” automatically pictures a stranger in a dark alley. This is what we call “real rape” because our society assumes that this is what rape looks like. However, research has shown that this only accounts for around 10% of all cases. So that means a majority of rapes and assaults are committed by someone the victim knows.
Because in most cases the perpetrator is known, a lot of victim blaming and shaming (however mostly unintentional) takes place. A lot of victims, we like to call them “survivors,” have explained the things they were told and had heard. “Well if she wasn’t wearing that” or “if she wouldn’t drink.” Most of these comments aren’t meant with harm, however when survivors hear this it only brings shame. They hear, “If I didn’t wear this outfit I wouldn’t have gotten raped.” (Also women are not the only ones this is happening to, men too).
Our culture tells us that rape is only the “real rape” kind, and anything else isn’t. This makes reporting to police very difficult for victims. They struggle with wondering if anyone would believe them or if it even was actually rape. And can we blame them? I couldn’t even tell you how many times I have heard someone say “well she’s after something, that’s why she’s saying she has been raped.” That isn’t our job as a society to judge. Our job is to seek justice and healing for victims.
This documentary, The Hunting Ground, takes a look at the cover-ups of rape and assault on college campuses. Not all college campuses are this way, I am very blessed to attend a school that does not stand for these actions. Unfortunately there are campuses in this country who are more worried about keeping a reputation.
As members of society we need to educate ourselves and others. As potential jury members, government officials, teachers, parents, and/or college deans, we need to know how we can prevent, how we can bring justice, and how we can bring healing.
The amount of hate and discouragement I have seen reading the comments on this documentary’s trailer only further proves to me the importance of education and sensitivity our society needs. If you haven’t thought about rape and assault in this way before, I would suggest learning more about it. Not to bring discouragement, but to better improve our society.
As a Christian, I feel that I have a responsibility to be informed citizen and loving. To be someone that represents Christ. Learning more about this issue gives me more reason to pray and to pursue righteousness.
So if you’d like, the organization I work with pushed hard in getting a special screening of The Hunting Ground, come watch the screening at AMC in Olathe on 119th St. on Friday April 10th or also on the same day at Glenwood Arts in Overland Park.
You can buy tickets early:
Also visit the website:
Thanks for stopping by