Many people have been panicking recently due to the outing of many powerful men around the world. These men have been accused of sexual harassment, abuse, and rape and many of them have had to face consequences for their behavior. There are people already crying ‘witch hunt’ and saying that, ‘men are scared to do anything with women because they’re afraid they might get accused of something.’ Even women arguing that this is becoming: Men vs. Women.
This could not be further from the truth.
I understand the concern, that innocent people could be falsely accused of rape. Absolutely. Why, however, is this the main concern and not the thousands, no, MILLIONS of rapes around the world that have gone unreported because everyone is too worried that someone is being falsely accused?
Reality check: There are rapists out there. And rape victims are too afraid to speak up.
These stories of assault and abuse are not going to die down; they are going to grow at an alarming rate because this has been going on for CENTURIES; and we are only beginning to uncover it all.
For generations, victims have been afraid to speak up, not just because of the shame, fear, PTSD, and guilt from being raped, but also because of the backlash from thousands of ignorant and uneducated bystanders who all believe they can tell who’s been raped and who hasn’t.
Suddenly, popular opinion regarding the personality of a person becomes the basis for being a rapist or not. Does this not scare you that we, as a society, have unwittingly become a comfortable breeding ground in which rapists thrive?
Think about it: Someone is raped every 53 minutes, according to Center for Women’s Resources stats. Barely anybody reports these cases because victims are almost always blamed for rape. Even when they DO report it, the chances of a conviction in this country are VERY LOW due to rape culture and corruption.
That said, the time for people to stay silent about their abuses is over. Survivors all over the world are coming forward with stories about abuse and rape and society—as a whole—has been overwhelmed by the sheer number of accusations, enough to make them say, ‘It can’t all be real’.
Plus, the real issue here is NOT with someone speaking up, but with the inefficient systems in place which are SUPPOSED to be able to tell the difference between fake and real cases. Due to a lack of education and corruption, a clean reputation can be bought. Are you content with that level of justice?
People must speak up.
For now, that fear that men feel? That is what victims—women and men alike—have felt every day after they were raped.
If you have done nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear. Keep your ears open and listen to stories with discernment; you’ll start to see the patterns of rapists emerging.
What #TimesUp really means is that the time for silence is over. Stop avoiding the conversation of rape and instead, start educating yourselves on how to have that conversation—tactfully and without ignorance. Stop asking people if it’s true or not and start listening to stories, to details, start opening your eyes to what has been happening for centuries, and start realizing that this is the truth of our society.
Most importantly, start being part of the solution. Educate your children, educate yourselves, and help those who wish to speak have an easier time being heard.
The only way to solve this is to break the silence.