When will we start teaching not to rape, rather than how to not get raped?

It seems like every week, if not every day, there is a new report about another girl who has been raped. Sometimes that story ends with a conviction of the rapist, but most times it does not end that way. The young girl is badgered on social media and sadly, sometimes it results in her death. When is it going to be enough? When will we start to teach everyone to stop raping rather than how not to get raped? When will girls and women everywhere be able to walk outside at night or have a drink on a date without the fear that the night will end in rape? When will our culture of rape tolerance cease?

A few months ago, a college in Colorado even published a list of helpful hints for women on how to prevent rape. Conveniently, it did not publish a list teaching men how to stop raping women. For years, a girl’s sexual history, clothing, and personality have been taken into account when people decide if she “had it coming” or not. This is flat out disgusting. Why is the girl put on trial when she is the victim? Why aren’t we teaching boys and men to not rape? Why not cut off the crime before it even begins? We need to start teaching boys and men to respect women and to understand that YES means YES.

In the last two months there were two stories of young victims of rape who killed themselves after badgering on social media and at school was too much. Jane Doe in Ohio had to watch the media favor the rapists in her rape trial. Our culture needs to wake up and realize it enables rapists. We put upon girls the responsibility of not getting raped and then if they are raped we blame them again. There is a law against rape for a reason; it is the rapist’s fault it happened. Society needs to start taking responsibility and choosing to blame the rapist. We need to start teaching everyone to not rape. We need to teach that what a girl wears to school or if she chooses to consume alcohol does NOT give anyone the right to rape her. Rape is wrong and it is about time we start teaching that. When will these stories be enough? When will we vindicate the victims? When will the time come when girls do not have to be scared of what could happen to them? I hope that society learns something from these girls’ stories and we can start to protect our children again.

Allison Arterberry

About Allison Arterberry

Allison Arterberry is a third year student at the University of Houston Law Center. She graduated from Texas A&M University in 2011 with a B.A. in Political Science and Spanish. She has spent parts of her last two summers interning at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Currently, she is a Senior Articles Editor for the Houston Journal of International Law, the Secretary for the Labor & Employment Law Society as well as a member of the Career Development Student Advisory Board and the Association of Women in Law. Additionally, last year she was the Secretary for Aggie Law Society. Allison is most interested in child victim’s rights in the criminal system.

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