Sexual Assault Awareness Month
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. I used to really dislike the whole “issue of the month” thing, but I have found through my work with issues-based nonprofits that the tactic does actually succeed in educating and encouraging people to action.
You might think that rape is something most normal, seemingly psychologically healthy Americans could agree is bad. You’d be wrong. Victims of rape continue to be ostracized, blamed for their assault, made to feel ashamed, and denied proper medical treatment. Legislators in several states are trying to pass laws that would provide legal amnesty for any health care provider that denied Plan B contraception to rape victims. Just this past week, a Nebraska appeals court rejected a woman’s lawsuit against a judge who banned the word “rape” from being used in the – wait for it – trial of the man who allegedly raped her.
While Cheuvront barred Bowen from using phrases and words like “rape kit” and “victim” in her testimony, he allowed Safi’s attorneys to use words such as “sex” and “intercourse” when describing the encounter between Safi and Bowen.
There are plenty of people out there who have very fucked up ideas about what rape is, why rape happens, and the lasting consequences – physical and psychological – that rape victims experience. So educate yourselves, educate others, and check out these websites: