One in five women will experience rape in her lifetime. One in seventy-one men will experience rape in his lifetime
43% of heterosexual women, 75% of bisexual women, and 46% of lesbian women reported being sexually assaulted. 21% of heterosexual men, 47% of bisexual men, and 40% of gay men reported of the same thing. These percentages do not include the victims that have not consulted with the police or any hotlines for sexual violence and assault.
Completely ignoring the gender, races, sexualities, and personalities of all the victims of sexual violence, countless numbers of humans have gone or will go through such situations.
People tend to avoid this topic since it supposedly “makes the conversation awkward”. However, the people that say this are the people that force such a critical topic to make them feel uncomfortable, leading onto the hush and lack of attention.
A local high school student has confided that “people, especially at school, give me these looks whenever I bring up the topic of rape and/or sexual violence. Everybody, or at least most people, know that this is happening, but I guess it’s sad to see that things get awkward whenever someone mentions any[thing] of that sort. But I’m starting to see awareness around the internet, and that gives me just a little bit of hope.”
Picking up from the interviewee, there has been a recent outburst from the situation with Harvey Weinstein, which prompted the actress Alyssa Milano to bring back the “Me too” movement through twitter hashtags and threads. In a matter of a day, about twelve million people had posted their stories and reactions relating to sexual abuse.
However, Milano only made all these people remember what Taran Burke had started more than ten years ago.
When Burke was working as a youth camp counselor in 1996, she had crossed paths with a young girl that had confessed her direct experience with sexual violence. This shunned Burke, leaving her speechless and at the very end, unable to truly help or find the right words for the young girl. This imprinted on Burke as she strived to expand awareness, at first for young women of color but later spreading towards all people.
The “#MeToo” movement in the internet gave all people that had either direct or indirect encounters the spotlight and the chance to speak out against rape and other countless forms of sexual abuse. It also gave people a chance to give hope that the monumental numbers of people that had gone through such horrid moments are not unchangeable truths and to give comfort to those that think that they are alone and isolated from the rest of society; all of which are needed for the victims, peers of the victims, and everyone that hasn’t experienced anything directly the most.