Just 10% of rapes are committed by strangers; 90% of rapes are committed by someone known to the survivor – a friend, a family member, a school mate, a colleague. Sexual violence is about power and control. People don’t do it because they are mentally ill, but because they are trying to control another person.
Women don’t lie about being raped! False allegations of rape are about as rare as they are for any other crime: about 2% of all reports. And men are more likely to be victims of rape than to be falsely accused.
Illustration credit: https://www.instagram.com/monachalabi/?hl=en
Everyone responds to the trauma of sexual violence differently. Many people feel numb, confused or unable to cry, while others may cry a lot. We should not judge people for how they respond to a traumatic experience.
Illustration credit: https://www.instagram.com/frizzkidart/?hl=en
The law says that a person is incapable of consenting if they are incapacitated by the effects of alcohol or drugs (e.g. if they are really drunk or really high). If a person has sex with someone who is too drunk to consent, then they have abused that person and they are the only ones who are to blame. No one is ever asking to experience sexual violence and the rapist is always to blame.
Illustration credit: https://sacha.ca/ending-sexual-violence/in-our-communities
One young survivor of sexual violence wrote this poem to reinforce what the causes of sexual violence are.
Only rapists cause rape
When we hear about sexual attacks on the news
We often see injustice; no blame on the man who pursues
Women are judged on their actions or past
Why does society do this? So inaccurately and so fast?
You sometimes hear ‘what did she expect when she drank so much rum?'
One thing she did not want, was to have a stranger touch her bum
She expected to go out, get drunk with friends, dance and have fun
Not be violated when she was unable to run
It was not her fault for getting so drunk she looked sedated
It was the fault of the man, who wrongly assumed she wanted penetrated
Is consent possible if she can’t speak or lift her head?
He should’ve done the decent thing and tucked her up kindly in bed
Why did he have to abuse his power and stoop that low?
So let’s reconsider.. Was it her fault she got drunk? NO!
She had no option to voice her thoughts and no control to escape
How can this be our fault?.. Only rapists cause rape.
Women should be able to dress as they please
Short skirts don’t give men the right to be a sleaze
Just because you can see it, doesn’t mean you can touch
If you wear a low top you deserve rape, to me is double Dutch
They ask: ‘What was she wearing?’, I ask: ‘Why does that matter?’
Groping and cat-calling to us, they don’t flatter
Just because you can see her chest, thighs or back
Does that really validate a sexual attack?
In court, we ask victims about their sexual history
Why we do this, it a total head-messing mystery
You can have a threesome at lunch and still be raped after dinner
Because she’s not a virgin, doesn’t mean you can illegally pin her
When someone decides to cause us great harm
We get blamed for not shouting and running when they clamp us by both arms
How can we scream when over our mouths it feels like tape
Our bodies froze out of fear ...Only rapists cause rape
Society often blames the women took a short cut through the park
How can we be expected to never walk outside alone in the dark?
In Winter in Scotland, it’s only daylight outside until 5 at night
Out with these hours, should we stay locked up and out of sight?
Here’s a suggestion, as mad as it sounds
Why don’t we instead have education on consent do the rounds
Teach people about the severity of lad culture and the consequent action
It’s the rapists fault, not the victims.. not even a fraction
We don’t incriminate rapists ‘cause it’ll ruin their life
What about us? Would you think the same if the victim was your wife?
There are millions of cases where no justice is served
It’s time we stand up together; give them what they deserved
It’s time we survivors stop feeling embarrassed and full of shame,
It is absolutely not our fault, we are not to blame,
Victim blaming is a myth people need to escape,
The bottom line is, only rapists cause rape.
Note: This was written in response to news articles that tend to blame the survivor rather than the person who committed the attack. It discourages survivors from speaking about their story for fear of being blamed. Although these are extreme cases, a sexual attack seems to be less of the rapist's fault if the woman was alone, wearing a short skirt, had consumed alcohol, didn’t run/scream, or has had sex a few times before. It especially saddens me that often the impacts of sexual violence are overlooked in favour of the perpetrators life if they are a high-achieving student. The aim was to show in some extreme cases where people are most likely to blame females, that it is still never her fault. Only that of the person who decided to commit the crime.