Rape Culture: How Society Reacts to Rape Essay

Rape Culture: How Society Reacts to Rape Essay

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What do you think and feel when you hear the word rape? Do you feel uncomfortable? Maybe even angry? Your certain feelings and emotions towards this word is a result of rape culture. Rape culture, essentially, is how a society as a whole sees and reacts towards rape or instances of rape. In 2013 rape was defined by the FBI as, “Penetration… of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.” (Division’s Crime Statistics Management Unit 1). The definition was finally changed after the old definition deemed inappropriate by today’s standards, which beforehand, stated that physical force needed to be used for rape to be considered rape. This is good news for men and women who have been fighting for the definition to be changed, but unfortunately this does not mean that state laws are being changed the same way. Even though the FBI may acknowledge the older inappropriate definition, most states do not. Sexual assault is a commonly unreported crime, where only an average of 36% of sexual abuse is actually reported to the authorities (Planty 7). Some forms of rape can include physical harm, threats, and even death of the victim, and most victims do not want to tell others for fear of criticism, self-blame, or even the fear that their attackers will carry out on their threats. In many cases, victims do have a reason to be afraid. When someone is brave enough to come forward and say they were sexually assaulted, they are putting themselves in the position of being in not only a long legal process, but also having their motives questioned and misunderstood, which is the last thing they want after their experience. The legal system in the United States...


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... Journal Of American College Health 59.7 (2011): 588-594. Academic Search Elite. Web. 14 Feb. 2014.
9. Gilmore, Stephanie. "The Dynamics Of Second-Wave Feminist Activism In Memphis, 1971-1982: Rethinking The Liberal/Radical Divide." NWSA Journal 15.1 (2003): 94. Academic Search Elite. Web. 14 Feb. 2014.
10. Caruso, Kevin. “Rape Victims Prone to Suicide.” 1. www.suicide.org. Web. 2002.
11. Michigan Penal Code. “Evidence of Victim’s Sexual Conduct.” www.legislature.mi.gov. Section 750.520j. Web. 14 Feb. 2014.
12. Division’s Crime Statistics Management Unit. “FAQ about the change in the UCR Definition of Rape.” http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/recent-program-updates/new-rape-definition-frequently-asked-questions. 1-7. Web. 14 Feb. 2014.
13. Jill Smolowe & Jeff Truesdell. “Daisy Coleman: Bullied to the Brink.” People Magazine Vol. 81, No. 3. 83-85. Print. 14 Feb. 201

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