Despite More Equality, a Rape Culture in America Persists
By Jacey Whirley
Despite strides in Women’s equality since the 1960’s, women are still victimized by physical abuse at alarming rates.
In fact, every 98 seconds an American is sexually assaulted.
“It is everywhere, said Terri Johnson, Assistant Dean of Student Multicultural Affairs at South Western University. “No matter where you go, the message, is, that women do not have ownership of their own bodies. Their bodies are treated cruelly and as a possession.”
Research from RAINN, an anti-sexual assault organization reports, there are on average, 321,500 victims of rape and sexual assault in the United States each year. One out of every six women in America has been sexually assaulted in her lifetime.
“Violence against women has become normalized in our society. This continues to lead us in a culture that doesn’t respect women as human beings,” Johnson said.
Deborah Winans, Executive Aid at June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students, says recently a rape victim admitted to Vanderbilt had a recorded number of 107 bystanders who saw the woman inebriated and knew what was going on during the incident.
“Individual women can make a difference,” Winans said.
“It just takes one woman at a time to say, ‘Enough, I am not going to let this happen anymore. I’m not going to stay quiet. It continues to happen but it is slowly more exposed because women are finally coming forward.’”
“The community can change this culture by being an active bystander. Step in when you see a situation that could potentially lead to sexual assault. Distract the victim and remove them from the scene,” Gabby Williams, Business Development Executive at American Dental Staffing, said.
American Dental Staffing, a workplace that mainly staffs women hygienist, has a hefty manual with rules, including Title VII. Title VII prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin.
“These guidelines protect all of our employees, but I am aware that they are mainly for the women. Women are just at a way higher risk for sexual assault than men,” Renee Topham, general manager of American Dental Staffing, said.