What we can do better for victims of rape

How to help rape victims and what we can do to help each other stay safe

Oluwatomike Bali
Staff Writer

What is rape? I want to believe everyone has his or her own definition of what rape is, but what really is rape? According to English Oxford living dictionary Rape is, “The crime, typically committed by a man, of forcing another person to have sexual intercourse with the offender against their will.” 

My own definition is this, rape is the crime committed by a person by forcing another person to have sexual intercourse with him or her against their own will, be it male or female. Which leads me to say that if both parties involved in the act are not on the same page then it is rape. 

We live in a society where rape is only labelled to happen to women and girls, and even though statistics have proven the number of this crime is higher in girls, that doesn’t make it invisible that men and boys too experience this.

A quick glance into the figures. According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) as of 1998, an estimated 17.7 million American women had been victims of attempted or completed rape while as of 1998, 2.78 million men in the U.S. had been victims of attempted or completed rape.

Those are just the figures that we are aware of, (the ones that were reported, that is,) we don’t know of the cases that were never reported and that was just in the year 1998. As of 2018 it’s been recorded by HuffPost that every 98 seconds someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted.

That means every single day more than 570 people experience sexual violence in this country. In a society where rape isn’t seen as a big deal or where the victims are being blamed for getting raped, those figures are very alarming.

And after thinking deeply about this I ended with a question. What are some ways we as the people of the community can help?

I don’t think it is completely possible to end rape because we as humans don’t have the power to control other human’s will or mind, but I believe we can do better as a society to help the victims of rape feel safe and know it was not their fault.

I can go on and write a list I came up with in my head on how to help a rape victim, but I quickly realized all can be put into a summary and still explain my whole list.

Never blame a rape victim, it is and will never be their fault that they were raped, instead show that you really care about what they are going through, make them realize that their feelings are valid and that they should never have gone through what they did, assist them by encouraging and also helping them seek help and above all love them.

Feature photo by Jeremiah Ayodele | MSU Reporter.

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