Rape In America, Donald Trump, And Capitalism
By Ezra Saville | Our Voice Contributor
We have an epidemic that’s gone on for years that most people don’t think about: the enormous amount of unsolved rape cases. You might say, “This is because victims aren’t reporting, right?” Well, I would look to these factors instead: the lack of police units handling sexual assault cases, the lack of condemnation of rapists in our media, identity privilege, and capitalism.
There is a backlog of untested rape kits, over 70,000 that are a symbol of the survivors of rape who’s attackers have not been brought to justice. This is due to a number of major issues including the prevalent sexism throughout the police industry and a lack of resources to test these kits. Other reasons include the obvious lack of focus that our government puts on rape, and that our police officers do not receive adequate training to deal with the trauma these victims have experienced.
Yet our current administration seems to think that this lack of vital resources, training, and compassion is acceptable. Our President, Donald Trump, pardoned Joe Arpaio, a sheriff who has several counts of police brutality against him – including ignoring cases of sexual assault and not following through with or supporting the victims!
Our media is quick to blame women for the sexual assault, or focus on the achievements of the men who raped. For example, Brock Turner, a Stanford swimmer who raped a woman and yet only received three months of jail time for his three felony counts of sexual assault.
We focus on the perpetrator and how great of a person they are, as if they are a victim. Why? Because they could be such a contribution to society if we give them a pass?
People also like to claim, “What if a woman falsely accuses someone of rape? It must happen all the time!” Wrong! False rape and sexual assault charges are the same as any other criminal change being falsely accused, which is about 2%.
Now in my point of privilege – over half of rapists are white, straight men. Out of 1,000 of rape cases reported, 994 will walk free despite proof or the testimony from the victim. People, especially minorities, are being assaulted by men and our government and police agencies aren’t doing anything about it. Instead, these vile abusers are walking free and able to commit rapes again..
Where does it happen most often? In fact, it happens quite often on college campuses. 1 in 5 women will be assaulted when they go to college or university. You might wonder why you aren’t hearing these facts. The cold truth is the simple fact that no one wants to give money to a place of higher education if it’s considered unsafe. College campuses will do their damnedest to make sure that cases of sexual assault won’t make it past their administration’s walls, fearing they will see a decrease in attendance.
Money has become more important in our society then keeping people safe from those who are out to assault and harm, which I find truly indicative of how America treats its citizens. It seems you can’t expect a country, built on the rape and genocide of Indigenous people, to improve it’s behavior and stop repeating the past.
However, this cycle doesn’t have to continue. We can change it. We can do something.
If you see sexual assault and harassment, speak up. Tell the perpetrator to back off, and protect those around you who are at higher risk for assault. Let people know you won’t tolerate that behavior. Refuse to play into rape culture, and teach your children what consent is and why it’s important. It all starts with our small actions in our day-to-day life.