October 23, 2015

No Means No..What Do You Think?

 Rape, Abuse, Incest  National Network (RAINN) recently accepted me to their Speakers Bureau. They sent me a Speakers Bureau Manual. Sadly, life was a busy and chaotic mess when I received it, so only glanced at it, then put it away for later review.

It's time to put together my presentations so I went back to the manual to check sexual abuse statistics to incorporate in the presentation. I'm familiar with many of the stats but was absolutely not prepared for the one sentence that knocked the wind out of me.

Only half of the rapes that occur in the United States go unreported. Statistics show that every two minutes a rape occurs, which means that out of an average of 1440 rapes only about 700 are reported. Sadly, that is not the statistic that I was unprepared for.

When a rape goes unreported, the perpetrator will never spend a day in jail. The chance that any rapist (reported and unreported) will ever spend even one day in jail is only 16%. So if we include unreported rapes, only 6 percent of these monsters will ever spend a day in prison. Down and dirty, that means that 15 out of 16 rapists walk free!

Take a minute to think about that. 15 out of 16 rapists walk free.

Now, that is the sentence (and the meaning behind it) that knocks my legs out from under me.

Don't you think we should change that?

The following statistics are directly from the manual:


  • Every two minutes someone in America is sexually assaulted.
  • 1 in 6 women, and 1 in 33 men, are victims of sexual assault in the US.
  • 44% of rape victims are under age 18, and 80% are under age 30.
  • College-aged women are four times more likely to be the victim of sexual assault.
  • More than HALF of sexual assaults go unreported.
  • For more statistics, visit: http://www.rainn.org/statistics
 Victims of sexual assault are:

  • Three times more likely to suffer from depression.
  • Six times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Thirteen times more likely to abuse alcohol.
  • Twenty-six times more likely to abuse drugs.
  • Four times more likely to contemplate suicide.
Perpetrators Relationship to Victim:

Contrary to the belief that rapists are hiding in the bushes or in the shadows of a parking garage, almost two-thirds of all rapes were committed by someone who is known to the victim.
  • 73% of sexual assaults were perpetrated by a non-stranger
    • 38% of perpetrators were a friend or acquaintance of the victim
    • 28% were an intimate partner
    • 7% were another relative"

 Our culture has a way of typically blaming the victim. The victim feels shame, guilt, unworthiness and a host of other potentially paralyzing emotions. There are many myths about rape that we need to be aware of.

No means no! It's not a woman's way of 'playing hard to get"! No means no!

Look at the way she was dressed; she was asking for it.  Clothing has nothing to do with consent. Clothes are clothes and no matter what a woman is wearing, no still means no.

If a woman goes into someone's house, she should have expected it. Accepting an invitation to "come in" is not consent to have sex.

When a person is raped, there is something they could have done to prevent it. The FBI reports that rape is the second most violent crime next to murder. The perpetrator in both chose to commit the crime, the victim is not responsible. When someone is murdered, do we put the corpse on trial?

But she consented to sex with that person before. When you purchase gas at the corner station does that give you license to go in and fill up any time you want to? When you bought a soda at a fast food store can you take your cup into the store two weeks later and get a refill?

There are a host of other myths and stupidities but I have gone on too long already.

It's time for us to value women and children in our world. We have so much empathy for a soldier who comes back scarred from a war zone and yet discount the trauma of a rape victim who was attacked in her own supposedly safe environment.

If you are a victim of rape, incest or sexual abuse, there is help and someone who cares at RAINN. Their hotline number is 1-800-656-HOPE or 1-800-656-4673. Or you can go to rainn.org.

Most important to remember: IT IS NEVER YOUR FAULT!

What do you think we can do to help victims? How do we prevent rape, abuse and incest?


  1. 15 out of 16? And that is a US statistic? Horrible!!

    1. Horrible and Scary. It is time for women to support each other more than ever!

  2. We're currently having a big problem with domestic abuse in Australia.

    1. Why do you think domestic abuse is such a problem in Australia?


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