Blurred Lines Come into Focus

By Grace Elliott, Staff Writer

There are a lot of opposing thoughts and opinions on rape. It’s the one thing that everyone has an opinion about, but some choose to make uninformed statements that cause them to go down a slippery slope of ignorance.

Your opinions are your own, and there is not a soul in this world that can change them. But before you become steeped in your beliefs, make sure you know all of the facts. An ignorant opinion can make you look like a bigot, so if you choose to go against the grain of popular opinion, see that you are informed.

First of all, rape needs to be defined.

“Rape, as defined by the NCVS*, is forced sexual intercourse. Forced sexual intercourse means vaginal, oral, or anal penetration by offender(s). This category includes incidents where the penetration is from a foreign object such as a bottle.”

This means that rape can happen to anyone, male or female. This is indisputable, not my personal opinion. In the United States court of law, rape knows no gender. Some try to dispute the fact that men can be raped, but it’s just not true.

Another term that confuses people is consent. This word can get the accused into a lot of trouble and causes a lot of headaches. It makes a rape case into a he-said, she-said type situation, which makes conviction and justice extremely difficult.

If a person (male or female) is not conscious or not in their right frame of mind, such as being intoxicated or drugged, consent cannot be given. It is rape. It’s a pretty simple concept, if you are sober and you take their ‘silence’ for consent, you are in the wrong. You can’t use the excuse of a girl (or guy) acting like a tease and then not following through as a reason for raping him or her.

In the United States court of law, rape knows no gender”

If you’re hearing about a rape story and do not know if it is legitimate, there are plenty of websites that have checklists to help you out. But, when in doubt, just don’t do it. It’s not worth the criminal charges or the potential for dehumanizing another person.

There are thousands of rapes that are never reported every year. One in six women have been the victim of an attempted or completed sexual assault; 38% of rapes are by acquaintances or a person the victim knows; 54.6% of rape victims are between the ages of 18 to 29.**

Every person has an opinion on this topic. They have a right to it, but I just hope that some of these facts help to solidify your beliefs or make you question them. As long as you are informed, your opinion is valid.

I just beg you to not be ignorant in your beliefs. There are links in this article that will lead you to informative websites and you can choose to refute them, but be willing to support your opinion because if it’s dissenting from the populace, you’ll get eaten alive.

And you’ll deserve it.

*NCVS or the National Crime Victimization Survey is a survey that is sent out to about 50,000 to 75,000 households twice a year to get statistics about the rate of victimization in the United States.

**All of these statistics are according to the Rape Crisis Center’s website.