WORK TITLE: Protect, don't Project
aRTIST: EBONY OHEN
mEDIUm: graphic design
This piece is controversial by nature due to the topic at hand. As women, we are taught to be hyper-aware of our surroundings and how we present ourselves to the world. The focus and responsibility of preventing sexual assault lie in the hands of women, and yet the vast majority of rape victims are women (90% of adult victims and 82% of juvenile victims). Eight times out of ten, the victim knows who the rapist is. The statistics surrounding sexual assault are terrifying. However, with each case, the public turns a blind eye on the rapist and directs their energy on the victim as an attempt to analyze what she did to cause the rape. According to MSN, in general, 48% of rape survivors were sleeping or performing some type of home activity while they were victimized, and nearly 30% were commuting from school/work or running errands. I, personally, was blacked out in my dorm room after a night of staying in and playing drinking games.
Do women need to be more careful about the spaces we occupy and the people we allow into our dwelling? Absolutely. Does there need to be a severe shift in the conversation as it relates to sexual assault? Absolutely. The way we project blame onto the victims rather than the predators only creates shame and continues to silence victims all around the globe. Out of every 1,000 rapes that occur, 995 predators will not face any jail time because only 230 out of 1,000 are reported to the police...and out of that 230, only 46 of those reports leads to an arrest. The rates of those arrests leading to prosecution are even lower with less than ten facing charges or imprisonment for any length.
Women need to be protected, not only by our power but by society's awareness of the issue at hand. Instead of teaching young ladies how not to get raped, let's start teaching young men to control their urges and refrain from assaulting others. We must kill the ideology that "boys will be boys," which ultimately enables grown men to continue to act like wild animals with no self-control or respect for their fellow being. As a believer, I aspire to live by the Spirit because I am aware that feeding the desires of my flesh leads to death. The desires of our flesh are sinful by nature, and the results are apparent, as stated in Galatians 5 – the first of these on the list is sexual immorality, impurity, and lustful pleasures. Sexual assault is born from the sinful nature of our humanness. If we as a collective continue to feed our flesh, there is no room for the Spirit to produce the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in our lives and within society.
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