Many victims of sexual assault do not report these crimes to family, school officials or police, and a new report on the normalization of sexual violence among young girls and women offers several insights into why this is; it also functions as a pretty harrowing primer on rape culture and its consequences.
Researchers at Marquette University analyzed forensic interviews with 100 young people between the ages of 3 and 17, many of whom spoke candidly about their daily experiences of sexual violence and harassment.
According to sociologist Heather Hlavka, many of the young people she interviewed viewed these incidents as a normal part of life. One interview subject told researchers, “They grab you, touch your butt and try to, like, touch you in the front, and run away, but it’s okay, I mean … I never think it’s a big thing because they do it to everyone.”
According to a release on the report, there are several of the reasons why young women do not come forward about the abuse they experience, including a belief that men “can’t help it” and a fear of being labeled a “whore”:
- Girls believe the myth that men can’t help it. The girls interviewed described men as unable to control their sexual desires, often framing men as the sexual aggressors and women as the gatekeepers of sexual activity. They perceived everyday harassment and abuse as normal male behavior, and as something to endure, ignore, or maneuver around.
- Many of the girls said that they didn’t report the incident because they didn’t want to make a “big deal” of their experiences. They doubted if anything outside of forcible heterosexual intercourse counted as an offense or rape.
- Lack of reporting may be linked to trust in authority figures. According to Hlavka, the girls seem to have internalized their position in a male-dominated, sexual context and likely assumed authority figures would also view them as “bad girls” who prompted the assault.
- Hlavka found that girls don’t support other girls when they report sexual violence. The young women expressed fear that they would be labeled as a “whore” or “slut,” or accused of exaggeration or lying by both authority figures and their peers, decreasing their likelihood of reporting sexual abuse.
They’ve also seen various media takes and possible religious messages that present various versions of coercion and sexual assault being permissible.
But rape culture isnt fucking real? Little girls are out here thinking that BEING ASSAULTED IS NORMAL
accidentally bumps into someone
"you don’t have to keep apologizing"
texting someone new is always weird.
like how do they feel about all lowercase letters? do they think it looks dumb? do i have to use super proper grammar and punctuation? will they know im being sarcastic when i start abbreviating words? are they a haha or lol person? are they a strict no acronyms kind of person? how do they feel about pet names? what’s their stance on emojis?
Why is coming out irl so hard on the Internet you’re like “I’m queer” and everyone else is like “same”
They’re both texting someone right now saying ‘some weird guy next to me is wearing the same thing as me.’
these are fucking paintings
I saw the caption and I died
these are my favorite.
i want dogs to be allowed at more places and i want children under 6 to not be
i should really stop developing crushes on people i can’t touch
Mija can still be a little too enthusiastic when it comes to making frans