Rape is a problem for everyone

When a crime is targeted at only one gender 90 percent of the time it occurs and perpetrated by the other gender 99 percent of the time (according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), it illustrates a flaw in the way our society works.

Rape is a terror that women have to be in constant consideration of. Every first date with someone new, every party, every walk taken at night, a woman has an extra reason to be cautious, because she could become one of the 90 percent.

This is a problem that needs to be fixed, but there needs to be more than awareness and self-defense classes for women to do it.

Kristy Bartley, counseling coordinator for the Women’s Resource Center, hit the nail right on the head when she said that we need to fix the way some young men are trained.

Some take issue with this suggestion because it could shallowly infer that men need to be fixed so that they don’t rape women, but that is really not the goal or the purpose of expanding rape awareness.

Rape is a societal problem on many levels, and it will take the attention and awareness of both men and women to do something about it.

Not only does rape tend to encompass one gender, but 90 percent of rapes go unreported. Between 85 and 90 percent of rapes involve family members and, too often, women are hesitant to report a rape because of the social stigma attached to rape victims.

Imagine a man being beaten up, and afterward, instead of pursuing the person responsible, it was assumed the man did something to warrant the attack. It is absurd to even think of something like that happening.

What is perhaps the most disturbing aspect of rape is that it is considered a crime of aggression, having more to do with power and control than with sexuality.

In a country that is supposed to be progressive beyond others with more patriarchal foundations, it is sad that a crime of male dominance like this one still exists.

For years, rape prevention education has been widely available to women, but it has only been a half solution. More information needs to be available to all men, not only about rape and how they, too, can help prevent it, but also about having a level of respect that would not allow them to tolerate any kind of harm done to anyone.

Because, in this case, it isn’t about placing blame on the men, it is about working together to prevent rape. Everyone should be willing to support that.