Rape culture is something as a society we cannot hide from, the Crime Survey of England and Wales estimated that an appalling 20% of women and 4% of men have experienced some type of sexual assault since the age of 16, equivalent to an estimated 3.4 million female victims and 631,000 male victims. An estimated 3.1% of women (510,000) and 0.8% of men (138,000) aged 16 to 59 experienced sexual assault in the last year, according to the year ending March 2017.
Victim blaming, or shaming is when a victim of sexual assault or harassment is told to take responsibility for the incident, or that both the victim and the perpetrator should be equally blamed, which is wrong and creates the false idea that rape is something the victim is responsible for or something people can easily avoid. Examples of victim blaming in the case of rape is when people say things like “She asked for it”; “Women know men can’t help themselves so they shouldn't dress in a way that seduces men”; “Men can’t get raped, he probably liked it”, “He/She deserved it because of their lifestyle”.
More than a quarter of the public believe drunk victims of rape or sexual assault are at least partly responsible for what has happened to them. Among 16- to 19-year-olds 34% said a victim’s drunkenness made them “completely”, “mostly” or “a little” responsible, along with nearly 46% who said the same about a victim who had been flirting with their attacker. (The Office for National Statistics 2015)
Only around 15% of those who experience sexual violence choose to report to the police. And of those that do conviction rates for rape are far lower than other crimes, only 5.7% of reported rape cases ending in a conviction for the perpetrator.
The #MeToo movement was crucial in highlighting how many women are affected by assault and rape a year, with Facebook releasing statistics showing that there were more than 12 million posts, comments and reactions regarding "Me Too" in less than 24 hours, by 4.7 million users around the world. However, one of the biggest things that alongside support of women who came forward was people and celebrities such as Angela Lansbury stating that “woman must take some blame for sexual harassment”. This idea of rape culture is one of the biggest reasons why women do feel afraid to come forward, believing they’ll be judged my family, friends or peers. We need to stop this and put out the message that victims are not to blame and make them feel unburdened of shame.
In this piece of dramatized spoken word, we explore the journey of a sexual assault victim who has felt shackled by people’s judgement, so much that she hid the trauma of her sexual assault.
“Perpetrators should face the repercussions
change rape culture, change the discussions
I have nothing to be ashamed of,
I deserve justice, I deserve love.”
The message is one that is clear, victim blaming will no longer be allowed. We wish to change minds and change attitudes.
If anyone has been affected by sexual assault or Rape you can find support here:
Helpline: 0808 802 9999 (12-2:30 and 7-9:30)
National organisation offering support and counselling for those affected by rape and sexual abuse.
See website for local groups or contact directory enquiries.
Supportline: 0808 168 9111
Our services are confidential, free and available to anyone who's been raped or sexually assaulted, now or in the past. We can help, regardless of whether you have told the police or anyone else about the attack. Our volunteers can visit you at home (if you want us to, and if doing so will not put you at further risk) or somewhere else if you prefer. If you don't want to see anyone face-to-face, you can also talk to us on the phone, either at one of our local offices or at the national Victim Supportline.
RASAC (Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre)
National Helpline: 0808 802 9999 (12-2.30 & 7-9.30)
National helpline for survivors of rape and childhood sexual abuse, their families and friends. Provides emotional and practical support.
Women Against Rape
This is the joint website of Women Against Rape and Black Women's Rape Action Project. Both organisations are based on self-help and provide support, legal information and advocacy. We campaign for justice and protection for all women and girls, including asylum seekers, who have suffered sexual, domestic and/or racist violence.
The Survivors Trust
Helpline: 0808 801 0818
Rape and sexual abuse can happen to anyone regardless of their age, gender, race, religion, culture or social status. Living with the consequences of rape and sexual abuse can be devastating. We believe that all survivors are entitled to receive the best possible response to their needs whether or not they choose to report.
Women's Aid Federation
National Domestic Violence Helpline (24hrs): 0808 2000 247
Women's Aid is the national domestic violence charity that helps up to 250,000 women and children every year. We work to end violence against women and children, and support over 500 domestic and sexual violence services across the country.
Survivors UK – Male Rape and Sexual Abuse Support