Rape. This four letter word has taken over the world. For some, it’s not such a big deal. I’ve seen people say that sexual assault isn’t a major problem. Well, I’m not sure if these people have hearts. According to The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, published in 2010, 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men will experience rape, which they defined as “forced attempted or completed penetration.” Next, it is vital to note the rates of sexual violence other than rape. Other forms (being forced to penetrate another person, unwanted sexual contact, etc.) are said to be experienced by 1 in 2 women and 1 in 5 men sometime during their life. That is a huge amount. This means that every female has a 50% chance of experiencing rape or sexual violence in her life. Rape has become a culture of its own and the numbers will only get worse if no one takes action.
While rape and sexual violence still remains a national problem in the US, it is even bigger in other countries. Why can’t women feel safe? I don’t understand. No matter how much technology has advanced, women still are insecure and often times considered lesser than men. What is the use of these advancements if we can’t fix a little thing? I was talking to a girl from New Delhi, India. She was telling me how I have so much freedom in America. I asked her what she meant because she didn’t even know me. She said that at least I could leave the house alone wearing jeans. That really hit me hard. She said that she had to cover herself completely and leave the house with an elder in India. I asked her why and she said that if she goes out alone, she would never make it back home.
That was really disappointing to hear. I assured her that she’ll be fine and she should stay hopeful, but I understood that she was actually speaking the truth. I looked into the news of countries like India, Pakistan, and Syria. It was shocking to see how many brutal rape cases occur in these countries on a day to day basis. Even with stricter rape laws, things are not changing in many countries. The underlying reasoning behind this from a psychological perspective is simply that we don’t stop what we enjoy. Lao Tzu once said, “Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny.”
That sums it up. What’s next? Well, the right people will do the right thing regardless. Laws don’t affect everyone. Some people know what the difference is between right and wrong and those are the respected and successful ones. When we get into a habit of doing something immoral, we might acknowledge it, but still value/practice it because it gives us pleasure. Try putting yourself in the situation of a young girl who can’t even walk out of her house or wear the clothes she wants to or make eye contact with a male without hesitation. The issue is bigger than it seems and the solution isn’t a law, but a shift in our thinking.
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