Image Credit: Pixabay – geralt
You can't read the news, turn on the TV, or sign into social media without seeing a headline decrying “rape culture,” or hear about another protest organized by angry people fighting against the sexism and sexual violence on campuses across the nation and in Denver, Adams, and Jefferson County. So many people are angry and are protesting about this idea that not many stop to think: Is rape culture a reality?
Rape Culture Beliefs: All Talk, No Proof
Just because society talks endlessly and loudly about something, doesn't mean it is the truth. The people who protest rape culture proudly wave statistics around: they say that 1 in 5 women will be raped while in college. This is a staggering statistic. If this was the truth, protestors have every right to campaign for justice against such rampant sexual violence. The problem is this statistic is not true.
Rape Culture Surveys are Unreliable
The definition of “sexual assault” was extremely vague for the survey.
The surveys which are conducted determining how rampant rape is on campuses are inconsistent. This is because the definitions of what sexual assault varies. For example, the “1 in 5” statistic mentioned above was completed using an online survey from the Justice Department. In this survey, “sexual assault” had an extremely broad definition, including “attempted forced kissing.” Such vague definitions of sexual assault are a slap in the face to true victims of rape.
What is the Truth about Rape Culture?
According to the survey, the sexual assault rate on college campuses across the nation has been declining since 1995; a statistic you don't often hear.
So, if the “1 in 5 women will be raped in college” statistic is false, what is the truth? A report from the Bureau of Justice Statistic's ‘Violent Victimization of College Students' is vastly different than the false statistics. The DOJ surveyed college students across the nation from 1995 to 2002. The statistic they came up with determined the real number is 1 victim of rape in 40 students. This good news is followed up by even more good news: surveys from DOJ show that the sexual assault rate has been declining – since 1995, sexual assault victimizations of women have decreased by 60%.
“Rape Culture” Beliefs Hurt True Victims
Proponents of “rape culture” are hurting true victims of sexual assault by causing panic and creating a good environment for false accusations.
Many people think that by denying the existence of “rape culture,” victims of rape are ignored and harmed. Nothing can be further from the truth. If our society is caught up in the false belief that there are 30 million current or future rape victims in the U.S. (which is true if the “1 in 5” number is believed), then true victims aren't able to get the help they need. Women who believe they've been sexually assaulted when a boyfriend tried to forcefully kiss them will take up resources and time from real victims. Believing that there is a “rape epidemic” only causes panic and false accusations.
Rape Culture Leads to False Sexual Assault Accusations
False accusations are common in today's day and age.
When people believe that we live in a rape culture, they become paranoid. And, the more vindictive among us see it as a chance to get away with false accusations. We have defended many people in Arapahoe, Douglas, and El Paso County who were falsely accused of Sexual Assault. As criminal defense attorneys, these are the hardest people to defend. It's as if people in our society want rape culture to exist. Police officers imagine the worst and make unlawful arrests, District Attorneys ignore evidence, and judges and juries don't demand more evidence. When it comes to Sexual Assault cases in Colorado, whatever the alleged victims says, the prosecution believes. It is hard-fought to get justice if you have been falsely accused of sexual assault. This is why you need to hire an expert sex crimes lawyer who is passionate about fighting for the falsely accused and against the false idea of a “rape epidemic.” We have seen far too many innocent people hurt by this false belief, and it is time to take a stand.