Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Don't Believe Rape Victims Without Checking Their Story!

So far, I've deleted two comments from my post on the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case. Both commenters explained to me that sometimes women lie about rape, and that this hurts everyone! Rape is the only crime in which the victim is immediately viewed suspiciously. No one asks if a man who is robbed brought the robbery on himself.

Misogynists insist that they know better than I do. They insist that you just can't trust a rape victim. I wonder if they will maintain that attitude when the rape victims are male?

Houston: A rapist targeting young men in a Texas refinery town has struck at least five times since April, stalking each victim in advance to make sure he's home alone.

Is anyone asking if the men who were attacked wore tight pants (which would cause the rapist to lose control over himself)? Is anyone asking if the men locked their doors, or if they encouraged the rapist in any way? Is anyone insisting that the men who were attacked weren't really raped? I hope not. These questions are disgusting, and no one who survives a rape should have to hear them. But women hear these remarks all the time.

Women who have been raped are often reluctant to come forward for fear of being ostracised or victimised again; for men those feelings can be even more amplified, police say.

In the Baytown attacks, police suspect even more young men have been assaulted, but they are ashamed to come forward. Some of the five known victims told police about the attacks after initially reporting a robbery, Clifford said.

"When you're talking about the humiliation of being dominated and threatened with your life to perform sexual acts, it's understandable."

So men suffer more from rape than women do? I don't think so. I don't see men being treated as if they "asked for it". What a shame we can't support all people who've endured being raped. What a shame that gender has such a big role to play in how rape survivors are treated.

Going to leave an ignorant and/or offensive comment? Don't bother, I'll delete it.


taught_to_despise said...

Spot on post, S.E.

So true.

Take good care,


sparkleMatrix said...

"sometimes women lie about rape, and that this hurts everyone!"
This was one of my ex husbands favourite arguments - as I have said - ex

Faith said...

2bsophora has a post regarding false rape allegations up on her blog if you want to check it out.


Becky said...

how many raped women did they have to walk past to find a male rape victim story - surely people don't just see what they want to??? that would be almost dishonest...
i seem to be posting as 'becky' - this is an error and the sort of thing that happens to me with computers.
i am in fact simplywondered. sorry.

spotted elephant said...

Faith-Thanks for the link.

simplywondered-Right-can you imagine if they reported realistically on rapes of women? There'd be no room for anything else.

And I'm sorry, because strange things like this happen to me too, but reading that "becky" was actually you has left me laughing helplessly. Only evil blogger would probably call me "rabbithater".

Monika said...

I like your no nonsense approach to believing people impacted by sexual violence. Nice work :)

You are correct that females are usually treated worse in the media than males, but from the sexual assault/abuse media I have consumed here in Canada, I see both sexes being treated pretty shabbily.

I am in no way minimizing the way women and girls are treated and affected by sexual violence, but I do believe males have their own hurdles to overcome (i.e. we are more likely to think a male survivor of sexual violence will become an offender, versus a female, and so forth).

Just as with women and girls, because of very low reporting rates, I do not think we have any idea the number of boys and men who have experienced sexual violence. In my work at sexual assault centres this past decade, I have seen the number of males coming forward in increasing numbers each year. While I do not think sexual violence is 50/50 between sexes, I think a lot more males are affected than we realise.

I believe feminism and the women's movement in general has been integral in helping all persons impacted by sexual violence, and this is true for males, as well. And I think we can acknowledge the sexual violence boys and men experience (typically at the hands of men) without diminishing the experience of girls and women.

As for the whole issue of false rape allegations, it appears that I have as much patience as you :) I am sick and tired of the attention always being focussed on the victim (versus the perpetrator's behaviour) and the assumption that the victim is lying.

Societal prejudices exist at all levels, and we have a whole lot of work to do to if we are going to eradicate these false beliefs and better support survivors!