[Trigger Warning: Sexual Assault]
Social media, like everything else, has a good side… and a bad side. The idea that social media can bring people together to talk about a subject is wonderful IF the subject is a positive one. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.
During the weekend, a horrible hashtag was the number one trending topic worldwide. The hashtag? #ItAintRapeIf.
We’re not even going to mention some of the hurtful jokes people were coming up with to tag along with this trend, but it was a cruel reminder that we have a long way to go before everyone realizes the seriousness of an assault.
Rape is not a joke. Nearly 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men in the United Sates has be raped at some time in their lives. 80% of female victims of rape experienced their first rape before the age of 25. This is serious stuff and it affects more people than we think. People that we know.
A victim faces so many obstacles to reporting after being assaulted. Self-blame is a huge reason… not knowing that it is never the victim’s fault. Many of the trending topic responses we saw on twitter were victim blaming. The reality is that there is NO EXCUSE for rape. It is NOT the victim’s fault and nothing anybody does or says justifies an assault.
It is about absolute, definitive, vocal, undeniable CONSENT from someone who is well within their senses. Without consent, it is an assault.
Fortunately, there were some people who stood up for what they thought was right and fought back with the hashtag #RapeIsntAJoke. As a community, we need to stand up and put an end to the victim blaming, the rape jokes and the excuses. Victims need our full support.