Because over 60% of sexual assaults go unreported. Because 1 in 6 women will be victims. Because 1 in 33 men will be victims. Because some studies show more than 52% of individuals in LGBT relationships experience sexual violence. Beacause it can happen to anyone.
It is often believed that sexy or suggestive clothing invites wanted male attention, positive or negative. Regardless, wearing revealing clothing does not invite sexual assault. In fact, women and girls have been raped in everything from jeans to business suits to pajamas. This belief reinforces the myth that women and girls invite assault by their clothing choices and shifts the blame for the crime to the victim and away from the perpetrator, where it belongs.
Myth: Sexual assault is an impulsive, uncontrollable act of passion. The victim isirresistible to the rapist.
Rape is an act of violence, not of sexual desire. The majority of rapes are planned: the place arranged, enticement used, or the victim deliberately sought and coerced into sexual relations.It is the vulnerability of the victim that attracts the sexual predator. Victims range from infants to the elderly. Anyone, regardless of age, sex, physical appearance, marital status,ethnic, religious or socio-economic background can be raped.Get the full list here (PDF)
On April 4, Vice President Joe Biden addressed Sexual Violence in a speech at the University of New Hampshire. Biden shared the experiences of Jenny (not her real name), a college freshman who was raped last year, New Hampshire Public Radio reported:
He said she’d been drinking at a party. And when she sought justice through the school, she was asked what she was wearing, how she was dancing, and whether she was sober.
“The student judicial panel said they didn’t find Jenny credible because she had been drinking. They decided her rapist was a nice kid and didn’t deserve the punishment under the circumstances,” Biden said….
But whether someone is drunk or sober doesn’t matter. As Biden put it, “Look folks – rape is rape is rape.”..
That’s one message that Biden hit hard: “Look guys – no matter what a girl does, no matter how she’s dressed, no matter how much she’s had to drink, it’s never, never, never, never OK to touch her without her consent. This doesn’t make you a man. It makes you a coward.”
“Imagine you’re at a party. A guy offers you a drink. You say no. He says “Come on, one drink!” You say “no thanks.” Later, he brings you a soda. “I know you said you didn’t want a drink, but I was getting one for myself and you looked thirsty.” For you to refuse at this point makes you the asshole. He’s just being nice, right? Predators use the social contract and our own good hearts and fear of being rude against us. If you drink the drink, you’re teaching him that it just takes a little persistence on his part to overcome your “no.” If you say “Really, I appreciate it, but no thanks” and put the drink down and walk away from it, you’re the one who looks rude in that moment. But the fact is, you didn’t ask for the drink and you don’t want the drink and you don’t have to drink it just to make some guy feel validated.”