Rape and sexual assault are indeed a crime, not a gender war. Rape and sexual assault are not new for anyone of us. No matter what kind of a community you live and what language you communicate with, this is a crime we share in common today.
According to U.S. Department of Justice, National Crime Victimization Survey in 2006-2010 that 44% of rape victims are under age of 18 and 80% are under 30. Every two minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted. There is an average of 207,754 victims (age 12 or older) of sexual assault each year and 54% sexual assaults are not reported to the police. Sadly 97% of rapists never spend a day in jail.
But do you know that approximately 2/3 of assaults are committed by someone known to the victim?
Are only women being subjected to be victims? About 3% of American men — or 1 in 33 — have experienced an attempted or a completed rape in their lifetime and 15% of sexual assault and rape victims are under age 12. The bitter truth is that 46% of rapists who were released from prison were re-arrested within three years of their release for another crime.
This has often been discussed and many give various opinions regarding the subject. Rape was the hottest topic during the final hours of the year 2012, especially after the sad news of gang rape that happened in India. Everyone had their say through media and social networks, with some pointing at each gender.
Rape and sexual assault are indeed a crime, not a gender war. But sadly I witnessed that some took this crime personally and generalized the topic by labeling every man as a rapist and every woman as coaxing the man to commit the crime. Do you think the eighty year old woman being gang raped by thieves was because of the dress she wore? Do you think the three year old child being raped by her grandfather was because the immodest toddler dresses she wore? No, but someone else’s way of behavior might have caused the man to do that to these innocent victims.
It is true that a man is easily aroused comparing to a woman when it comes to sex and he is weaker than the woman in patience when it comes to this matter. That is why Allah first commanded of men to lower gaze before He commanded of women about their hijab. So it is he who should know to control his feelings, yet it is she who must know how to protect herself. Perhaps she isn’t physically raped, yet there could be thousands who rape her by their thoughts.
I believe that every man and woman should dress modestly without arousing the feelings of another. You may argue that we live in a civilized society and one should know how to tame and control his/her desires no matter what was presented on their platter. The question is are we seriously in a civilized society? It is scientifically proven that only human and dolphins have sex for pleasure but to see the number of sex related crimes, can those acts be called pleasure? Pleasure is having sex without force and none dominates the other. But rape and sexual assault are nothing but one considering only his/her need to be fulfilled and having full power on the other.
This is what the wild animals do but not the wisest creation of Allah. So those who act upon only fulfilling their desires are no humans but worse than wild beasts. Even a husband having forced sex is marital rape!
What Does the Dress Have to Do Anyway?
No woman would walk on street with the intention to get raped. But it is her duty to know how precious she is. The precious pearls are hidden deep down in the ocean in a shell, yet don’t they get caught and used to fulfill the desire of human beings?
The dress of a woman plays a major role. But are women who dress immodestly the only ones to get raped and sexually abused? No, it is a mental condition of the rapist and even if his victim was dressed modestly, it won’t take time for the rapist to commit the crime. Numbers of rapes are reported daily where women are safely locked within their homes or where they are with their guardian.
Perhaps not all the victims wore immodestly but the TV shows and movies have their part in arousing the man’s feelings. When they can’t hold the desires by staring at their screen, they stretch their arms and grab the nearest possession. But did you know that it is rather easy to steal from a house with open doors than from a house securely locked? If you are securely covered, you have a chance in winning your fight over the rapist while he bothered himself reaching to fulfill his desire, i.e. if you are a victim.
When Known Angels Become Devils!
Did you notice the percentage of rape cases where rapist is someone close to the victim? Why do many victims shun reporting their cases to the police? Won’t it be easy for a victim to file a case against a known offender? It is not the fault of the victim but a fault of the community we live in.
How many have been broadminded to accept the victim without pointing at her or him? Unlike other criminal acts, in this specific crime, the victim is perhaps shy or frightened to file a case against. That is the loophole where the criminal slips from the punishments of law and is not frightened to commit the same act many times.
To put a full stop to the crime, the rapist should learn a lesson. Many agree that a rapist should be charged with the capital punishment, but sadly in many cases he neither gets the capital punishment nor gets accused in front of justice. Why? Simply because of our own attitudes! We are not frightened of reporting against a murderer but we back off fearing that by reporting the whole world gets to know what happened to our daughter, wife or mother. Instead, the society points at the victim. People sadly forget the mental trauma a victim of rape goes through aftermath.
Effects of Rape
- Victims of sexual assault are three times more likely to suffer from depression.
- Six times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
- 13 times more likely to alcohol addiction.
- 26 times more likely to drugs addiction.
- Four times more likely to contemplate suicide.
Before, we point at anyone and argue to win our debate, let us be humble and ready with a soft heart to help a victim and at the same time, spread awareness of this issue.
“When a feeling of safety has been achieved, it is vital for the victim to receive medical attention, regardless of his or her decision to report the crime to the police. For the victim’s health and self-protection, it is important to be checked and treated for possible injuries, even if none is visible. This includes testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), as well as receiving preventative treatments that may be available, depending upon the local response and resources. For instance, medications to prevent STIs and pregnancy and protect against HIV transmission may be offered” (Rainn.org)
Victims should make every effort to save anything that might contain the perpetrator’s DNA, therefore a victim should not:
- Bathe or shower
- Use the restroom
- Change clothes
- Comb hair
- Clean up the crime scene
- Move anything the offender may have touched
Even if the victim has not yet decided to report the crime, receiving a forensic medical exam and keeping the evidence safe from damage will improve the chances of police accessing and testing the stored evidence at a later date.
“A daughter is not safe in the womb and even out of the womb”, I read this somewhere and wondered how true. Yet human life itself is not safe in a world where humanity is fading day and night.
Despite the religion, the community, the age and gender, this violence can happen to anyone! Let us stand against violence and help create a better world.