Dear Future President,
One in three women are survivors of some type of sexual violence. One in six men are survivors of sexual assault. One in four women will be raped during their college years. Of a hundred rapists, only three will even spend a single day in jail. Victims of celebrity rapists are called “career-destroyers”. Social media encourages sexual violence through various forms such as hashtags, threads, and forums. When rapes are reported, the first thing people scrutinize is the victim's actions. This is rape culture, and we must put an end to it.
The fact that women are human; living, breathing, and feeling, and not objects to use and abuse, is often forgotten. They’re often mistreated for no reason other than their gender. They deserve the same rights and respect as everyone else. When someone is raped, their world is turned upside down in the worst of ways. “My independence, natural joy, gentleness, and steady lifestyle I had been enjoying became distorted beyond recognition... The isolation at times was unbearable. You cannot give me back the life I had before that night either...I refrigerated spoons every night so when I woke up, and my eyes were puffy from crying, I would hold the spoons to my eyes to lessen the swelling so that I could see… excused myself to cry in the stairwells, I can tell you all the best places in that building to cry where no one can hear you. The pain became so bad that I had to explain the private details to my boss to let her know why I was leaving... My life was put on hold for over a year, my structure had collapsed.”(Katie J.M. Baker, Buzzfeed.com) This is part of a letter from Brock Turner's victim, who was raped on Stanford University's Campus. No one deserves this type of anguish and humiliation. It’s almost impossible for us to understand the extent to what the victim feels, but it can’t sit right with you that some human is suffering so much because of the cruel actions of another.
Rape culture corrupts young minds and makes way for more rapists. It has been proven that the environment a child lives in directly affects the child and the type of person they are. If the environment that a child grows up in encourages male superiority, and doesn’t punish sexual crimes, the child will believe they have the right to someone’s body, and can get away with their act. A study shows that one in three men would rape if they knew they’d get away with it. If 15 out of 16 sex abusers are walking free, imagine how many people would decide to commit sexual assault. The growth of rapists would increase alarmingly, and soon, many people will start falling victim to these inhumane crimes, jeopardizing the morals and tranquility of society.
Some people say that there is no such thing as rape culture, that it’s just a term coined in the ‘quiet corner of the feminist blogosphere’. They claim that culture doesn’t cause rape, individuals commit these acts through their own conscious decisions. It’s true, it is the individuals committing these violent crimes of their own accord, however, it is this society, this culture that’s justifying it, even promoting it at times. The sugar-coating of sexual assault through media, the jokes, accusations of rape reporters wanting to destroy careers, and the fact that people are more concerned about rapists and their future, than the victim and how they're affected; it’s all a part of rape culture. These little habits of society are reinforcing and promoting the idea that it’s ok to rape. People also say that most claims of sexual assaults are false. In reality, only 2-8% or rape accusations are false, but this leads many to believe that all rape accusations are false. Every rape accusation deserves to be looked into because rapists will target the people they think no one will believe. “In order to escape accountability for his crimes… the perpetrator attacks the credibility of his victim. If he cannot silence her… he tries to make sure no one listens.”(Judith Lewis Herman, Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence-From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror) It’s this type of thing that contributes to rape culture.
This is our country. This is our future. It is our responsibility to end rape culture and protect all the sons and daughters of this country. It’s our duty to put all the misogynists in their place, enforce justice and punish sex abusers, and re-establish the idea that no one has the right to anyone’s body without consent! Sexual assault victims must report rape, and it is our duty to listen and take them seriously! We must put an end to rape culture and make our country safe for future generations to come! Thank you for your time, and I hope you address this as a serious issue.