Over the past week, there have been several allegations of rape and other forms of sexual assault spreading over social media about the D’usse Palooza host Chris Stylezz.
These allegations have sparked some women to create anonymous social media accounts outing their abusers, with their abuser’s pictures and social media account handles tagged in the post. This trend has sparked numerous conversations on how sexual assault victims should handle their abuse.
Quite frankly, it’s nobody else’s concern about how a victim chooses to out their abuser. You can not tell someone that their wrong for handling their trauma a certain way. As a victim of sexual assault, I’m very ANNOYED by the amount of ignorance my peers are showing.
Only 2-8 percent of rapes are falsely reported in the United States. With that said, I do believe that anyone who makes a false allegation should be prosecuted. Rape or any form of sexual assault is not something to take lightly. You can potentially put someone in a dangerous position because of a lie.
In the United States, 1 in 10 women is raped by an intimate partner in her lifetime. This reason alone is why it’s important to believe victims. Just because a woman has decided to come out years later to tell her story, doesn’t mean she is lying. I have met more victims of sexual assault, than those who have been falsely accused of rape.
A question I’ve been hearing is, “Why don’t the victims just go to the police”? It’s funny that we protest about how the police are not our allies, but we always pressure sexual assault victims to go to the police. It is assumed that 15 to 35 percent of all sexual assaults are reported to law enforcement.
A list of reasons why sexual assault victims choose not to report their abusers to law enforcement
Fear of retaliation.
Lack of evidence.
Did not want their abuser to get in trouble with the law.
Did not want family/friends to know.
Fear of justice system.
Did not trust that the police would do anything
When the accused is in a position of power, many women choose not to report their abuser. Take the music industry, for example, if many women DID report sexual assault, we would not have a music industry left. A lot of times, those women receive a settlement and must sign a non-disclosure, or their victim-blamed so bad to the point they drop the case.
Another reason for not reporting to the police is if your an undocumented immigrant. Some undocumented immigrants do not feel comfortable going to the police, in fear of deportation.
Burden of Proof surrounding sexual assault
Someone I know made a claim, surrounding the burden of proof, before posting allegations online. I replied to them and let them know that a victim can’t show evidence of a sexual assault. Secondly, victims do not have to PROVE anything to us. Would you like to see their rape kits?
Think about this way, If your friend came to you and said “I’ve been raped” and the first thing you say is “Do you have proof”? What you’re saying to your friend is, “I want to believe you, but I need proof first.”
As a friend, I would never say that to anyone. Just because someone has chosen to post anonymously online about their assault doesn’t mean the woman is lying. If anything, this should be a warning sign to other women to stay away from that person.
One thing I noticed is that the accused would directly reach out to the woman they assumed posted the information. So once the accuser reaches out, the woman would then screenshot his text message and post it. If you didn’t rape anyone, why do you know who to reach out too assuming you’ve had more than one sexual partner. It seems like that guilty conscious is coming into play.
Why is it that a woman can be posted on their cities local “Hoe or Thot page” anonymously with no proof, yet we as a society are angry at sexual assault victims that have chosen to post their abusers anonymously? So it’s ok to call a woman a hoe and ruin her reputation, but we can’t call out alleged rapists?
Most people against this trend seem to be more concerned to find out if they’re homeboy is on that page. I understand it’s natural to want to protect your friends, but the underlying issue is we do not know what our friends are capable of behind closed doors.
All In all, we all have a responsibility in regards to protecting victims of sexual assault. You never know who is watching you when you make comments surrounding sexual abuse. Just remember, it can be your mother, grandmother, sister, aunt or cousin or even your friend.
To conclude, I want to make one essential aspect clear. Men can also be victims of sexual assault as well, and they’re well within there right to report it. Often, we leave men out of these conversations because some people believe men can not be sexually assaulted. Another thing I would like to add is, victims, can be coerced into giving sexual favors which are another topic I can discuss in the future.
If you are or know a victim of sexual assault, please check out RAINN, which is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization.