Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Communities Need To Support Victims Of Rape

I read an extremely disturbing story earlier tonight of a young woman who was raped a few months before her planned wedding. Not only was she sexually violated, but afterwards, most of her community -- rather than rush to her support -- betrayed her. They turned against her as if she were the criminal. And they succeeded in destroying any chance she had of marrying the man she loved and who loved her.

We are the most insane of all the great apes.

As most of us know, rape is an atrocity. It ranks with murder and manslaughter as among he most heinous of crimes. It very often leaves its victims emotionally and mentally scarred for years. And the threat of rape alone is a curse against freedom. It is bad enough in itself, but it is even worse when the victim's community abuses the victim for having been raped. At that point, the community becomes despicable. It becomes immoral. And it becomes worse than the rapist himself.

Precisely the opposite should happen. The community should rally to the support of the rape victim. It should do everything within its power to reassure her that she is loved, valued, and held in esteem. It should make it its mission to help her heal from the trauma of rape, to recover her life, and to move on as best she can. A community that will not or cannot do at least that much for a victim of rape is treacherous. What possible allegiance could anyone owe such a community?

People's attitudes towards the victims of rape can and must change.


Mahendra said...

This is true of many societies and countries and cultures, and it is one of the worst atrocities that human society perpetrates.

We need more counselors and psychologists to deal with and change this phenomena. I don't see any other way to change the society's attitudes and the individual victim's world.

marxsny said...

Everything you say here is true, the problem is that we live in a society where our outrage is sparked and measured by things like, the number of dogs that died in Michael Vick's alleged dog fighting operation. I actually heard a sports commentator on CNN state his belief that Michael Vick's alleged crime is so much worse that the rape Kobe Bryant allegedly committed a few years ago.
I don't think anything will will change until we stop searching for for objects to value greater than human life.

Webs said...

In one of my psychology classes at college we talked about this. How a woman can get raped and people will judge her and call her a slut. It's just despicable. Even if the woman is a slut, does it still make the act of raping her any more justified? WTF are people thinking?

The other flip side to this, can a man be raped? If so, how do you think society would react?

amuirin said...


you're right, and not to pick on you, but use of terms like 'slut' are part of what create societal justification in blaming the victim.

It's an ugly word anyway. I don't know why our culture thinks it's okay to speculate and judge a woman on her sexual behaviour and not a man.

Oemar said...

Experts have always seen a very disturbing relationship between no. of rape cases/attempts and the male/female ratio in that region. I dont think they are talking talking about the mere stregnth in physical numbers, probably the psych effect of seeing less number of women and venting it out on some or something, not really sure, but worth investigating.

Mahendra Palsule said...

You are absolutely right, Oemar. See the long drawn out comments section on my post on female foeticide and the repercussions of the gender ratio in general!