Is rape really STILL a taboo subject in 2017?

Is rape really STILL a taboo subject in 2017?


There are many issues in society that we look at and question why it still an occurring issue in the 21st century, racism, rape, genocide etc. The occurring issues are one problem; however the bigger issue at hand is the attitudes taken towards these issues which cause them to become taboo!


So why do major issues become taboo?

I feel that in today’s society, we have a fear of being ‘wrong’, or not being ‘politically correct’ and as a result of this, that fear paralyses us from sharing our thoughts, feelings and views. If you ask me, no one has to be right for anyone to be wrong. Even if your view, opinion, thoughts and feelings may not be the most favourable, they are rightfully yours and should be shared.

It’s important that we educate ourselves on topics that we do not feel confident speaking about, in order to gain that confidence so that we can then speak freely.

So let’s talk about rape, as there is never enough to say at a time like this where justice is not being served!

There are a lot different layers and angles to think about when it comes to the topic of rape, consent and other forms of sexual abuse and I can admit that it is not black and white. I feel that the main important thing is to focus on the underlying basics of right and wrong, yes and no.

First things first, what is consent?

Some people may be wondering what consent has to do about the discussion of rape, but it’s probably one of the most crucial things to address.

It’s important for us to be clear on what consent is to understand when our own rights or another person’s rights have been violated. Not only that, but in knowing what consent is, we can then communicate better with others in knowing our boundaries, and what we want or don’t want. More importantly, we can only discuss what we know! I have found a very clear, informative definition on what consent is, in regards to sex.

“Consent is defined by section 74 Sexual Offences Act 2003. Someone consents to vaginal, anal OR oral penetration ONLY if s/he agrees by choice to that penetration and has the freedom AND capacity to make that choice. Consent to sexual activity may be given to one sort of sexual activity but NOT another, e.g. to vaginal but NOT anal sex or penetration with conditions, such as wearing a condom. Consent CAN be WITHDRAWN at ANY TIME during sexual activity and each time activity occurs.”

Who does sexual abuse affect?


As Lauren Hill beautifully states in her song, “When the rain falls, it doesn’t fall on one man’s house top.”

Whether it is rape, sexual harassment, molestation, if it is happening to someone, it is our issue. All for one and one for all, right? The notion that if it isn’t happening to you then it’s not your problem is ridiculous. You may have children, friends, sisters, brothers, mothers, fathers, neighbours and even colleagues that may God forbid experience sexual abuse one day.

Who are rapists?


There is not a specific look to be a rapist. Although statistics do not matter, studies show that 90% of rapists are people you know. 90%! This doesn’t mean you need to walk on egg shells throughout your entire life, but just being aware of the possibilities, which may influence some of the choices you may make.


Who can sexual abuse happen to?


It doesn’t matter what gender, race, age you are, anyone could unfortunately be a victim. Below I have found information on how people may be targeted for sexual abuse, which may be useful.

Victims of rape are often selected and targeted by offenders because of ease of access and opportunity - current partner, family, friend, someone who is vulnerable through mental health/ learning/physical disabilities, someone who sells sex, someone who is isolated or in an institution, has poor communication skills, is young, in a current or past relationship with the offender, or is compromised through drink/drugs. This list is not exhaustive. Victims may be chosen for grooming because of their vulnerabilities. The suspect/offender may hope that these vulnerabilities will limit belief in the complainant by authority and a court.”


Is rape the only form of sexual abuse?


There is sexual harassment, which could be verbal and physical, e.g. groping. As well as molestation, which more children are victims of than people think.