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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Rape Culture #15: Rape Culture and #ChurchToo

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Part fifteen in a series by Joy Pedrow Skarka 

In January 2018, Andy Savage received applause from his church after confessing and apologizing to his church for sexually assaulting a teen twenty years earlier while serving as a youth pastor. At the time, Savage had asked his victim, Jules Woodson, who publicly told her story, to perform oral sex, and she had complied. In an interview that followed, Woodson said, “Compliance is not consent.” (Check out Part 4: Rape Culture and Consent.) As a young girl, Woodson had trusted her youth pastor, and he used his position and power to take advantage of her. After much controversy, Savage stepped down from his position, having realized that he needed to make things right with his victim herself. And that, indeed, compliance (especially when there is such a power differential) is not consent.

The month after the #MeToo hashtag went viral, the …

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Rape Culture #14: Rape Culture and Race

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Part fourteen in a series by Joy Pedrow Skarka 

Faces of black men. Those are often who we see portrayed as rapists on TV. And when people see a black man walking toward them on their side of the street, often they cross to the other side. Yet the stereotype of Black-as-rapist is statistically inaccurate. The Department of Justice says that perpetrators of rape are 57 percent white and 27 percent black.

            And when Black men are arrested for sexual assault, they are not treated like white men. A former Stanford student was arrested for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster and sentenced to six months of jail time. After three months in jail, he was released. Why was he released early? “Automatically applied credits” for good behavior prior to sentencing. The system patted him on the back, so to speak, for good behavior, even though his victim …

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