I’m going to be discussing a sensitive topic today, so I just want to give a big trigger warning for rape and sexual assault.
I want to start off with some terrifying figures. In the UK alone, each year 85,000 women are raped. That’s over 230 a day. That is not okay.
Since the age of sixteen, one in every five women have been sexually assaulted.
Look around at your female friends, and think of that statistic. It is scary. It is appalling. It is not okay. How can that be possible?
Well, perhaps because only one in every one hundred rape accusations leads to a conviction. This is mostly because of victim-blaming. ‘What were you wearing?’ or ‘were you drunk?’ Questions that are always posed to the victim, but never the attacker. Simply browse the internet and you’ll find scores of images and articles and interviews featuring victims and the disgusting blaming they have suffered. At the hands of friends and family, police and even judges.
As women we are taught ‘don’t get raped’, as opposed to men being taught ‘don’t rape’. However we can protect ourselves. Simple things such as not taking lifts from strangers, wearing headphones when walking alone or taking alleys/shortcuts can do a big deal. Obviously the thing is, you shouldn’t have to do that. But sadly the reality is that could help you stay safe.
Another thing I’ve learnt is that victims who fought back against their attackers were far less likely to actually get assaulted. It’s been proven that attackers pick based on vulnerability, not appearance. This means elderly people, disabled people or someone with headphones in etc. is far more likely to get attacked. However, according to statistics, is you fight back against an attacker your likelihood of actually being raped is halved. HALVED.
This doesn’t change the fact no one should be put in this position or have to feel scared if walking alone, but it changes something. It gives you more of a chance.
So please, whether it’s a catcall or you’re being followed, or simply someone hitting on you in a club which you don’t like, talk back. Don’t accept it. Don’t stay silent. Talk back.
Stay safe and riot ❤