Friday, July 24, 2009

Rape Culture

I'm sure you've heard about the allegations regarding Ben Roethlisberger and how he raped an employee at Harrah's in Lake Tahoe. I don't know how much you're aware of, or what is going on in the media/blogosphere.

Some take it seriously, some do not, some call her a gold digger. Some say the allegations can't be true because there was no criminal report and it's a year later.

Are you serious?

I deal with this EVERY DAY. And a reason why rape is such a big deal is because of media events like THIS and how poorly they are ALWAYS handled. Remember Kobe Byrant? Anyone know how that ended? All charges were dropped because the woman refused to testify. I don't blame her, either. Do you know how scary that would be? Do you even have any idea how horrible the whole process is? It might even be more emotionally scarring than the assault.

And with this case, everyone told her not to report. That she was lucky to have had sex with this man; he was a legend! Any girl would be lucky to be in her place!

It makes me sick to know that we could have done something for this woman, if only she had come forward. It doesn't matter if your rapist is famous, it's STILL RAPE. She didn't just have sex with him and regret it. She didn't just have sex with him when she didn't want to. That's called rape. She didn't have sex with Ben Roethlisberger, she was raped by him. THERE IS A DIFFERENCE.

This would have been the *perfect* case for anonymous reporting. We're working on it. I promise. You can get a sexual assault exam at the hospital and not report to the police. Do not let anyone talk you out of it. Get it done - even if you're not sure if you're going to prosecute or report to the police. If you decide to a year later, at least the evidence has been collected. Hell, it'll probably take us another year to work it and get a DNA profile if there's anything probative in the kit anyway.

There is help out there. And there are advocates and counseling to get you through it. This woman was hospitalized for depression after the event because she had absolutely no support system.

Our culture, the media, society's views - they're wrong. It's up to all of us to change them.

Here's a really great story regarding rape culture.

If you don't know what it is, read this.

Often times I am reminded how largely ignorant the general populations is. I wonder how it could be that I am brighter than SO MANY people. I don't think of myself that way - until something like this comes along. Then I feel pretty arrogant... but I think, appropriately so.

The media cares about celebrities. About Michael Jackson's death. It's all we report on. I haven't seen one story representing this woman appropriately.

Sure, I believe in innocent until proven guilty. But that doesn't mean that you don't believe the victim's statements. Leave it to the courts to decide - but don't discredit her. It took a lot of courage to come forward.

Sorry, I'm too angry/excitable about this topic... Ending rant. (Totally check that link if you haven't.)

End Blog.

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