Rape is the invasion of an individuals privacy and a terrible infringement of her/his dignity.
There is absolutely no reason or explanation given as a factor that instigates rape that can excuse this cruel criminal act of violence called ‘Rape’.
The hope is that the recognition of some of these underlying factors will help in the fight to bring an end to this barbaric act of rape, help to reduce vulnerability and curb the antics of rapists and potential rapists.
Before jumping into some factors that have been regarded to as causes of rape, I have to point out that every individual case is unique. I find generalizations and the use of the word ‘statistics’ rather cold and only to be applied out of neccesity. With each case comes a personal story. This list of causes is an attempt to collate several reasons given over the years. Some of them are quite nugatory, others are extremely grave.
For the purpose of this article, the factors will be divided into two broad causes. The sociological/cultural and the ‘Psycological/mental impairment.
This piece is a glimpse into what the society/you might be doing wrong. We delve into a little bit of the psychological just after, in the next piece coming up with just hours between.
The sociological and cultural factors houses a lot of half-baked beliefs that in the long run do not help much in curbing occurences of rape.
~The most common is saying that women ‘ask’ to be attacked because of the way they present themselves, in dressing, in being continuously increasingly flirtatious in a highly sexually permissive society. As much as suggestive apparels may stimulate a man’s desire, it cannot excuse such animalistic behaviour.
But how true is the assertion in the first place?
Statistics do show that majority of the women that do get raped are those without a knack for showing flesh. These perpetrators get drawn to females wearing their pyjamas or sweatshirts. There is something infinitely attractive about mystery.
How about the situation in India? The country is truly one of the most sexually repressed and conservative countries in the world, yet Delhi is refered to as the ‘Rape Capital of the world’.
What about children that get sexually assaulted? Are they being seductive too?
Maybe, just maybe, this simple reason that many conservative people like to give is just an excuse not to deal with the fact that rape is more serious than they want to believe. Blaming the victim for the insanity of the attacker.
~Another reason given which also blames the victim is that young people go to the wrong places, clubs, dark alleys. This could be a contributing problem and curbing this could help prevent some level of rape. But what happens to the underaged potential victims or the family attacked by robbers or the young girl on her first date?
~Do we consider the grand exposure of sexuality through the media today? To an extent, it probably does influence the scourge. In several ways, the media present ‘sex’ as a necessity that must be gotten. The popularization of S&M should definitely have a stake in this blame game.
But one thing has to be cleared up. Rape is not a sexual act. Rape is a violent crime against humanity. It is more about domination than sexual desire.
~Woven into our genes is the idea that men are the head in everything and a woman is to be subservient. We live in a male dominated society and as an extension, there is an underlying belief that females also want to be sexually dominated and it is right of a man to demand sexual compliance from a female. This way, a woman says ‘NO’ and the man hears ‘yes,do what you want’. He takes rejection as a personal insult on his ego and seeks to reaffirm their manliness by showing her that he can take what he wants. And give an excuse for it. She wanted it.
~The law is not clear enough and not hard enough on how offenders should be punished. We have the law making excuses and doing too much of contextualizing. They want to know if the victim fought back enough for it to be considered non-consensual. If a thief were to rob you, would you be asked in a court of law if you resisted? Would that be a determinant of whether the robbery took place or not? I know it is a little more complicated than that but the law has to get more firm on what measures are to be put in place.
There are definitely a couple more reasons that may be given as sociological factors influencing rape. These are just a few.
I do think that it is important to know what the roots of the issue is as these will help in our efforts to pull them out.
What do you think can be done?
There is this quote I saw in secondary school that I liked.
”All that is wrong with the nation is a sum total of all that is wrong with us as individuals”
Simply saying, it starts with you and the bit you can do.
With these few points highlighted, what little are you doing or can you do to help stop this evil?