Speak out against rape with Slutwalk and Reclaim the Night
The news has been inundated with awful stories about rape recently. So why not take a stand against sexual violence this autumn?
From the Julian Assange case to the bizarre proclamations of US Republicans, it’s been hard to avoid poorly conceived opinions on sexual assault and rape.
Respect MP George Galloway appears to believe that once you’ve already had sex with someone, initiating further intercourse whilst they’re asleep is merely “bad manners”. Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa would seem to agree.
In the United States, Republican Senate candidate Todd Atkin declared that “legitimate” rape victims were unlikely to become pregnant, as “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down”.
In Denmark, a Guatemalan trans woman faces deportation after being gang-raped in the male wing of a camp for asylum seekers. Anne La Coeur of the Danish Red Cross (who run the camp) said that: “We would not place her in a women’s dormitory because that is definitely for women”.
All of this hot air only serves to obscure the very real impact of rape and sexual assault. Home Office statistics indicate that in the UK 21% of girls and 11% of boys experience some form of child sexual abuse, 23% of women and 3% of men experience sexual assault as an adult, and 5% of women and 0.4% of men experience rape; however, these figures are likely to understate the scale of the problem.