Friday, May 20, 2016

Women Are Winning Against Rape Culture

A report on The Guardian does a fantastic job in outlining the massive progress against rape culture that's taken place in just a couple years, all thanks to survivors coming forward and speaking out in the face of intense, relentless backlash.

Trigger warning for the following link: Multiple descriptions of rapes. They don't go into a lot of detail but could still easily be triggering.

'Breaking the shackles of shame': the rape survivors leading a new wave of activism

As Carol Tracy, executive director of the Women’s Law Project, explains, the more survivors come forward about their experiences, the more fellow survivors feel safe and inspired to come forward themselves. The support of other women and the feminist community is essential in this as a counter to the rape culture that seeks to silence them. And it's working. In spite of the efforts of universities and rape apologists (and many rapists) to excuse rapist behavior and discredit victims, survivors have launched multiple movements to end rape culture.

Another campaign group, End Rape On Campus, also started up in 2013. Founded by former students of the University of North Carolina, its members have helped launch dozens of federal complaints and lawsuits around the US, including some high profile cases. EROC is also involved with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s efforts to push fresh legislation through Congress aimed at improving colleges’ approach. 
Meanwhile, the government is reviewing a record 167 institutions of higher education under the gender equality Title IX laws that oblige colleges to investigate sexual assault vigorously, while preventing a hostile environment on campus. 
More widely, in 2014 Obama launched a White House taskforce, citing federal data that a fifth of women are raped at some point in life, as are one in 71 men, that most victims know their assailants and 98% of perpetrators are male. Further guidelines were issued in 2015.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. You can't stop progress. And you can't silence the truth. Keep it up, fellow feminists, and rape culture will fall.

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