Rape has always been an issue that I’ve felt strongly about because I feel that it is one of the worst violations that a person can experience and a crime that is always under-reported because of the shame that the victims feel. Whatever the statistics that are reported, I think it is still too high. Yet, despite having read articles about the prevalence of rape, it occurred to me that I’ve always viewed it as something that happens to other women, that it’s a low possibility that I’d put myself in such a situation that I might be raped. My female friends and I were having a conversation about domestic and sexual violence and I brought up the stat that 1 in 4 college women in the US had either been a victim of rape or attempted rape and one of them said that if we were in the US, someone in our group of friends would have been raped and that caused my brain to jolt to a halt. Then, I realised that my friend and I have put ourselves in a situation that were the guys we were with assholes, things could have ended badly for us. The scary thing is that I didn’t recognise it for what it was until now because we knew one of the guys and it was all friendly fun when we had a little too much to drink. How many girls have thought the same way and ended up in a nightmare? We weren’t the most naive of people and we knew what some men are capable of but we still put ourselves in that situation because we trusted that one guy in the group. Thinking about that time in this context made me realise how stupid we were and I managed to scare myself quite a bit at how blind I was. I suppose the point of this post is the remind myself that I’ve been arrogant in thinking that I knew how to protect myself and that rape is something that would not happen to me, but all it takes is trusting the wrong person. Yes, men ought to learn to respect women and to respect that “No” means no, but until that happens to all men, women also need to watch out for ourselves.
That said, women should also have the right to walk down a street at any time of the day or enter a crowded train without having to fear about being sexually assaulted.