In this continuing series, guest blogger Toria helps us consider rape culture and how better to “do justice” for women. Warning: Some explicit images ahead.
If my story tells you anything else, aside from “silence = no,” it should also reiterate my earlier point that anyone can become an assailant, and anyone can become a victim.
In the movies, rapists are usually shadowy strangers in dark alleys, either alone or in a gang. This can happen in real life, but a rapist or assailant can also be an acquaintance, friend, spouse, significant other / partner, or family member. Anyone can be a rapist, just like anyone can be a victim.
I remember a case in which a woman had gone drinking with a group of friends and asked a couple of the guys to take her home, since she was too drunk to drive and didn’t want someone coming after her. They raped her in the bar’s parking lot. She had considered these men to be her friends and had trusted them to get her home safely.
Rape doesn’t suddenly become okay if it was committed by someone the victim knows. It also doesn’t make it okay if she’s flirted with them, if they’ve been previously involved, or if they are still in a relationship.