Whereas I can see McEwan’s point that we’re shifting from victim blaming to bystander blaming, I do think that promoting bystander intervention is a positive step to put an end to rape culture and thereby an end to the prevalence of sexual assault.
Certainly the rapist is the only one ultimately responsible for their actions, for their choice violate another human being; however, peer pressure and a community unwilling to accept such misogynistic and aggressive behavior in the early stages will go a long way to deterring rapists.
Some of the arguments against bystander response is that it’s dangerous for the bystander, which I can see in extreme circumstances if physical violence is the case, but on the other hand, so much of this happens and perpetrators are supported way before the defining moment sexual assault.
Once we stop accepting misogynistic speech, rape jokes, and objectifying other human beings, once we put an end to the idea that one person is entitled sexually to another, once we firmly reject the notion that a woman was “asking for it,” and we do this with every action, word, and thought, that’s when rape culture will begin to end.
To change our culture, it is most certainly on us. #ItsOnUs
Read The Nation article to which I am referring, here.
This is an excellent article that articulates some of which I am trying to say through this site.
I’m also very pleased to see that the White House is taking a firm stance against sexual assault and promoting the importance of bystander response.
Simply put, this is perpetrator logic. Perpetrator logic says that the person impacted doesn’t get to say whether something was traumatic. The only opinions that matter are those of the perpetrator and those who defend their actions by writing off some violence as “lesser” than others.
Perpetrator logic claims that rates of sexual violence are exaggerated by feminists who define the term too broadly. After all, defining “rape” so broadly might actually mean that I’m a perpetrator of violence, even if it didn’t look like what I picture a rapist to be.
The impact of perpetrator logic, then, is the silencing of survivors. When you know people won’t believe you or give you the public and private support you need to heal, you’re far less likely to share your experience, even with loved ones.
When you’ll be shamed and questioned, you are far less likely to speak out publicly about sexual violence.
And when you know you’ll be treated like you’re the one who did something wrong within the legal system, you are far less likely to report to the police. And some wonder why rates of reporting are so low!
Collectively, we need to move away from perpetrator logic. We need to move away from that logic which attempts to define for survivors what their experience was, and we need to empower more survivors to find the healing they need.
Here are four important things we need to do in order to abandon perpetrator logic…
1. Understand That Sexual Violence Is a Matrix of Behaviors…
2. Empower Survivors to Name Their Experience…
3. Recognize That Healing is a Spiral…
4. Embrace Survivor-Centered Logic…
Read full article for more great information and detailed explanations of those four things.
Powerful hashtag and campaign via The White House.
Similar to the things said on this site as well as much of what Thomas has been saying on the Yes Means Yes Blog for the past several years, it is wonderful to see the White House getting behind bystander response and actively working to change our culturally scripted victim-blaming habits.
“When violence against women is no longer societally accepted, no longer kept secret; when everyone understands that even one case is too many. That’s when it will change.”
Contrary to what Michael Moore recently said, maybe Obama will leave a strong legacy after all.
The full article here.
The #it’sonus campaign officially started today. Ironic, since it’s my rapist’s birthday.
I hope this is the beginning of the end of rape culture. I hope it brings about a society were rapists can no longer operate, including mine.
(September 19, 2014) — President Obama today launched It’s On Us, a campaign to reduce rape on college campuses. The president, along with Vice President Joseph Biden, called on students to sign a pledge to commit to helping keep their friends safe.
To survivors of campus sexual assault, President Obama said, “It’s not on you; this is not your fight alone. This is on all of us, every one one of us, to fight campus sexual assault. You are not alone, and we have your back.”
Read more at RAINN and take the pledge.
Join the discussion on Twitter.
More on ItsOnUs.org