I learned about The rape of a student over a week ago and I have been haunted by it ever since. Hearing that someone is raped is devastating. Watching a video of a young woman gang-rape by five men tore me to pieces. The release of this tape I hope, is not in vain but will jolt us into taking action and seek justice.
I cannot imagine the horror that she went through, but as a woman, as a human being, I felt the violation, degradation, and dehumanization as if it were my own. It could have been me, my sisters, mother, friends, it could have been YOU. This is not an issue for victims, or for some people, this is gloabal problem that affects all our lives. We can all find ourselves in the wrong place at the wrong time betrayed by people we trust.
Women, men, children are being raped everyday all over the world. A woman is raped every 45 seconds in the United States. 1 out of every 7 college student has been raped. 9 out of 10 women are raped on campus never tell anyone. More than 61.5% of rapes are never reported to law enforcement, according to stats from the Crisis Connection.
The number one reason why victims stay silent is fear of stigmatization and reprisals.
A victim should not be afraid to say I am a victim because he or she will be stigmatized, made an outcast by friends, family, society, be branded a whore or worse, told that she deserves it. No one deserves to be raped.
A rapist will threaten to kill you while he use, misuse, and violate your body and damage your spirit. He will threaten you and your family if you fight for your life.
He will tell you that it is your fault, that you provoked and therefore deserves it.
He may video tape you and threatens to expose you if you tell anyone.
He will take all that you are.
Fear is the abuser's weapon of choice.
Knowing this...how do we change the world?
The rapist, MUST be relieved of his weapon. Unless and until the victim, despite her fears stand up and scream for all to hear the name(s) of her abusers, and what they have done to her, change will not come.
Until she walks into the police station violated and bruised and broken covered in blood and tears, sweat and semen, until she makes it clear that she will not be silent anymore, change will not come.
Suffering alone in the dark is not the answer. Silence is his protection and your imprisonment. Bullies are powerful only when the victims do not fight back.
The Abused Woman
The day that the abused woman, say enough
The day she walks out and never come back
The day she stops hiding her bruises with make-up
The day she gets him arrested and does not drop the charges
The day she picks up a knife to protect her life and forces him into the corner where he’s held her a hundred times...
The day she spills his blood, and make it clear, “never again” the abuser loses his power. Abusers drink the poison but want their victims to suffer the effect. Don't! Silence is not our friend.
Emmett Till was a 14-year old boy, murdered in Mississippi in 1955 by two white men because he spoke to, or whistled at a white woman. Emmett was shot in the head and his body mutilated beyond recognition. At his funeral, his mother insisted on an open casket, her reason, “So that the world could see what they did to my boy.”
Today Emmett Till is considered one of the “sacrificial lambs” of the civil rights movement. The murder of blacks in 1955 at the hands of white men was routine. What made a difference is that Maime Till forced the world to look at the horror of racial hate crimes. For those not familiar with his story there is a plethora of resources available, one of which can be found here.
The mutilated picture of Emmett Till can be viewed here.
It is disturbing. I encourage you to be disturbed. That is how we change the world.
To change the world one cannot and must not suffer in silence. And we cannot look away from the ugliness of men because it makes us uncomfortable. There are stories that must be told, horrifying images that must be exposed. We need to be uncomfortable in our skin. We need to be haunted. We need to lose sleep. We need to fight back. That is how collectively, we change the world.