99.4%. That’s how many women have been sexually harassed. This act is principally executed by adult men in the victim’s family, and must be spoken about here.
July 1848, was when women began the struggle for equal rights, a national movement was organised in New York. The attendees of this legendary event would be appalled by the fact that 172 years after they attempted to build upon a horrendous and male suffocated society, women are still being harassed, stereotyped, patronized, and women are still having to fight for their basic rights.
And then, I hear excuses: It's not all men.
What? I’m sorry. Let’s take one example: Russian Roulette. The game goes somewhat like this: a bullet is put into the gun’s chamber and then six people would sit around a table. They would spin the gun around on the table, and whoever it points to has to shoot themselves. They could be granted with an empty shot and survive. However, they could get the bullet and die. The game continues like this until someone gets shot. That person of course being the loser of the game.
Would you play? I asked fifty people whether they would play: 92% said no, 6% said yes, and 2% said they don’t know.
You see, people don’t play because they could die. The odds are one out of six, but never zero. One out of five American women have experienced attempted or completed rape in their lifetime, according to the NSVRC (National Sexual Violence Recource Center) in 2020. Those odds prove that women are more likely to be raped in America than they are to die during a game of Russian Roulette. Not every pulled trigger will be fatal, but it’s enough to stop people from playing. It’s not all men, but it’s enough men!
Than, a relationship with suicide begins to form. A study proved that out of 158 female suicides attempts (ages over 20) 50% of them had been sexually abused at some time. One year after this study, significantly more women had attempted suicide that had history of sexual abuse than those without. Proving that sexual abuse makes women far more vulnerable to suicide and repition of suicidal bahaviour.
Another paper reviews the physiological aspects of sexual assault; female sexual assault victims are at high risk of: acting out, low self-esteem, dissociative disorders, eating disorders, hyper-alertness, alcohol or drug abuse, guilt, shame, lack of emotion, sleep disturbance, anxiety, depression, the list could go on and on. Follow up studies show that victims of sexual abuse remain mentally disabled long after the abuse occured.
If you are sexually abused, some are afraid to report to the police. Based of off a study produced in 2019, 64% of trasgender people have experienced sexual assault, the youth being particularly vulnerable, in 2011, a survey was conducted and results say that 12% of transgender youth were sexually abused by a member of staff within their school district. This ties in with not only Women’s Rights, but LGBTQ+ rights, as some are afraid that the legal justice system won’t support them, and them being the victims could be turned into the so-called offenders. Discrimination in the health care system could potentially restrict them from recieving medical attention, whether it be therapy or physical medical requirements.
In the U.S, you are more likely to be sexually assaulted based on your race and ethnicity. For example: according to a survey in 2019, 19.9% of white women had experienced rape, whilst 20.7% of black women had experienced rape. And it’s proven that sexual assaults on white people receive a harsher punishment than they do on people of colour. Similar to what I said about LGBTQ+ sexual assault crimes, people of colour are less likely to report the sexual abuse they face due to the unstable support of the legal system.
In conclusion, spreading awareness about this issue is massively important, and could save thousands of lives. This year has been rough, however it has allowed me to explore and debate my difference of opinions among these topics with my family and friends, and it has held a mirror up to me that we still have so far to run until until we meet the finish line of safety for not only women but men, and that these brutal wars that have been declared against our current society need to be fought if our goal is equality, and what better way to win than to fight them like a girl?