Many victims of sexual assault do not report these crimes to family, school officials or police, and a new report on the normalization of sexual violence among young girls and women offers several insights into why this is; it also functions as a pretty harrowing primer on rape culture and its consequences.
Researchers at Marquette University analyzed forensic interviews with 100 young people between the ages of 3 and 17, many of whom spoke candidly about their daily experiences of sexual violence and harassment.
According to sociologist Heather Hlavka, many of the young people she interviewed viewed these incidents as a normal part of life. One interview subject told researchers, “They grab you, touch your butt and try to, like, touch you in the front, and run away, but it’s okay, I mean … I never think it’s a big thing because they do it to everyone.”
According to a release on the report, there are several of the reasons why young women do not come forward about the abuse they experience, including a belief that men “can’t help it” and a fear of being labeled a “whore”:
- Girls believe the myth that men can’t help it. The girls interviewed described men as unable to control their sexual desires, often framing men as the sexual aggressors and women as the gatekeepers of sexual activity. They perceived everyday harassment and abuse as normal male behavior, and as something to endure, ignore, or maneuver around.
- Many of the girls said that they didn’t report the incident because they didn’t want to make a “big deal” of their experiences. They doubted if anything outside of forcible heterosexual intercourse counted as an offense or rape.
- Lack of reporting may be linked to trust in authority figures. According to Hlavka, the girls seem to have internalized their position in a male-dominated, sexual context and likely assumed authority figures would also view them as “bad girls” who prompted the assault.
- Hlavka found that girls don’t support other girls when they report sexual violence. The young women expressed fear that they would be labeled as a “whore” or “slut,” or accused of exaggeration or lying by both authority figures and their peers, decreasing their likelihood of reporting sexual abuse.
They’ve also seen various media takes and possible religious messages that present various versions of coercion and sexual assault being permissible.
But rape culture isnt fucking real? Little girls are out here thinking that BEING ASSAULTED IS NORMAL
G.I´s examininig abandoned Jadgpanther.
After storming into her apartment early in the morning while she was still in bed, Henrico, VA police tied up 75-year-old Ruth Hunter with zip ties and began grilling her about drug use and storage. Then, realizing that maybe, just maybe, she was not their target, they left for a neighboring apartment — leaving her tied up while their incompetent investigation continued.
So far, the police have done nothing to make amends. “I’m very irritated and angry, he never said I’m sorry, never apologized for having the wrong house…he said you got to get someone to fix that door,” Hunter said.
A complaint filed this week in a Manhattan federal court alleges that the FBI is cornering innocent people, insisting that they act as informants for the federal government, and preventing them from leaving the country if they refuse to collaborate. Those are the tactics of the Stasi. Spy on other members of society or else.
If you refuse? Forget about the ability to travel freely or visit family abroad.
If Tanvir v. Holder is decided on the merits, rather than suppressed in the name of state secrets, we’ll find out if the FBI has turned those tactics against Muslim Americans.
That’s what four plaintiffs allege. The stories they tell are chilling.
Read more. [Image: Reuters]
New crustaceans found crawling on whale bones near Antarctica
The researchers stumbled onto the find as they were originally looking for hydrothermal vents at the bottom of the Southern Ocean.