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Rape Culture #18: What Can I Do?

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Part eighteen of a series by Joy Pedrow Skarka

Rape culture is so pervasive it can feel unconquerable. Most women have a story in which she or a friend have experienced some form of sexual assault, abuse, or harassment. There are, however, lots of steps we can take to create a more just world.

What can we do?

Educate yourself and others. As part of “doing justice” (Micah 6:8), we must seek to advocate for victims. Our world will continue to perpetuate rape culture unless we challenge its precepts and help people understand what causes it and how to prevent it. Rape culture needs to be confronted at the dinner table, from the pulpit, in youth group curricula, in school curricula, as part of police training programs, in public awareness literature, in legislation, in art, in counseling, during sentencing…. Elaine Skorkey in Scars across Humanity asserts that all of …

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Rape Culture #17: A Sense of Entitlement

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Part seventeen of a series by Joy Pedrow Skarka

In rape culture, the more power a man has, the more sexual assault he can get away with. Powerful men live in a cloud of entitlement. Rich men, such as Harvey Weinstein, can sexually assault numerous woman for years, get a slap on the wrist and a fine, and walk away. But losing loose change is nothing compared to the pain suffered by the victims. 

Hollywood often weds power to a sense of entitlement. Gatekeepers are given, “Get Out of Jail Free Cards.” For example, Harvey Weinstein has reached at least eight settlements with different women. One person he abused said, “I am a 28-year-old woman trying to make a living and a career. Harvey Weinstein is a 64-year-old, world-famous man, and this is his company. The balance of power is me: 0, Harvey Weinstein: 10.” Vulnerable women have hoped to make it …

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Rape Culture #16: The Problem Is Bigger Than We Think

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Part sixteen in a series by Joy Pedrow Skarka 

Rape culture is not happening only in America; it is happening around the globe—and has been since the beginning of humanity. Rape is a weapon that affects victims, their families, and their communities. Here are a few examples:

  • Rape is common in patriarchal societies. Japan is a very male-dominated society, making it difficult for victims of rape to come forward. Because of this, research shows that fewer than 5 percent of women raped in Japan report it. Why not? Social pressures, cultural taboos, women not being believed, and rape not being talked about—all respects of rape culture. For more information on rape culture in Japan, watch the documentary, Japan’s Secret Shame, featuring one woman’s struggle against the hostile environment for women reporting assault in Japan.
  • In India rape culture deeply affects girls and women, and it can even lead to death. An
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