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Throughout the years, rape is a topic which is on headlines, mainly because of the increasing rates of rape. It is quite normal that when society is confronted with a social ill, society will construct mechanisms which help us from being victims of rape. However, we often forget to teach ourselves not to rape.
Quite frequently, the manners in which one has to protect themselves from being raped is to pay close attention as to what they wear, areas to avoid, what to drink, what to eat, and the company they surround themselves with. When we teach girls not to wear shorts or "revealing clothes," we are implying that rape is a consequence or punishment of their choice of fashion. We are disregarding the fact that rape does not only happen to girls or young women, but it is a social ill which affects boys, men, senior citizens, and babies as well. At the same time we are implying that only men rape, and women do not rape at all. However, this is false.
Rape is not about sex, however. It is mainly about power. It is a form of violence that is used in order to impose power on a victim. When a person sexually violates you, they take away your power to give consent. Hence, a person may not be attracted to you or even aroused but will still rape you in order to exercise their power over you.
Rape victims often struggle with reporting the crime, because of the questions and judgement they are asked when reporting the case. Questions such as: "What were you wearing?" "Why were you alone at that time of the night?" "Well what did you expect to happen?" "But he is your husband?" Such questions are the reason which lead to perpetrators walking free and rape victims feeling guilty, feeling as if they asked for it. It is also false to argue that rapists rape simply because they are sexually aroused. If it is the case, I think it is important to teach ourselves self-control and respect.
Yes, I totally agree that one should buy their own drinks, should not leave them unattended, and should always avoid dodgy environments. However, I strongly urge that we should teach ourselves not to rape. We should learn that the manner in which a person behaves or their fashion choice does not give us the right to sexually violate them. Most importantly, we should learn that just because we are in a romantic relationship or married or whether we've had sex before with a person does not automatically mean that we have a right to have non-consensual sex with the person. Let us learn not to rape!