How far have we come? I recently read an article stating a television personality “got what she deserved” when she was gang-raped. Another tweeted ridiculous comments, begrudgingly eventually apologizing – sort of. Can we say “Neanderthal?” First, it should be brought to that commentator’s attention rape is not a crime driven by lust or horniness. It is not provoked by short skirts or stiletto heels. It is a violent transgression that is initiated from an obsession with power and control. It is brutal, and there is nothing at all sexy about rape. I have a friend who was nearly killed. She was in her bedroom folding laundry, waiting for her husband to return home. It was a breaking and entering situation. One of the towels she was folding was crammed down her throat to keep her quiet, cutting off her oxygen. She was viciously sodomized. Granted, there may be some who are sick enough to find that description arousing. I’m sure they are not envisioning their wife, daughter, mother or sister while they create a visual picture in their mind. And anyone who finds pleasure in this sort of thing is in dire need of serious therapy. Perhaps these sorts of people should make contact with RAINN, the foremost organization in America working against sexual assault, rape and incest.
And domestic violence? Do you realize how many times I have heard from victims who suffered broken noses, arms or jaws whose spouse or intimate partner‘s excuse to law enforcement was, “If she’d have kept her mouth shut, she wouldn’t have gotten hit.” There are still many in society who believe a “mouthy” woman deserves to be beaten. These are the same individuals who, if their own wife, girlfriend or daughter were knocked around by another man, would not hesitate to pull a trigger in their defense. Some feel it’s okay to batter their own wife—but nobody else should disrespect them in any manner.
Society also seems to think it’s as simple as a battered woman simply packing up her bags and leaving. You’ve heard the question, “Why doesn’t she just leave?” Well, quite simply, there could be a bullet waiting with her name on it.
While there are a multitude of individuals, agencies and organizations around the world doing all within their might to fight the good fight against domestic and sexual violence, it remains at a pandemic level. Education and awareness must be accessible on a regular basis, and larger numbers need to become more receptive to learning the truth about these abuses. It is only when society as a whole develops knowledge and a conscience regarding the fight against violence against women (and male victims) that we will make a bigger and unavoidable difference.
Carolyn is an advocate for sexual/domestic violence and assault awareness, also focusing on child sexual abuse. She is a Life Direction & Empowerment Coach, working with victims and survivors of molestation, sexual assault, domestic violence or spousal abuse, and bringing training to organizations seeking to help victims. Listen to Carolyn’s interview with Cynthia Brennen, on “Help, Hope & Healing.” Visit her website: orangeblossomwishes.com.
- Federal plan tightens penalties for domestic violence on tribal land (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- When a man hits a woman…. (reginacorrente.wordpress.com)