**WARNING: Very GRAPHIC. Could be a potential trigger for victims of rape** NSFW
This is one of the most haunting collections of photographs I’ve ever seen. It is right in your face. There. It happened. It happens every single day.
Someone you know was raped or will be in their lifetime. This is NOT okay. We cannot keep condoning this. Every 2 minutes an American is sexually assaulted. One out of every 6 women in this country have been or will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. It may be random, it may be a family member, it may be your spouse, it may be your best friend, it may be your teammate, it may be your teacher, it may be your boss…anyone can assault anyone—white, black, Asian, Hispanic, gay, straight, young, old, man, or woman. Please talk about this. We have to make the cycle end: #ItHappened #ItHappens #RapeAwareness
Brock Turner is just one of many people that has been raised to believe that human bodies were put on this earth for the taking. And we all are helping create this culture of acceptable, forcible rape. Yes, I am calling everyone out.
Until we change the mindset of America this will continue.
Men: Females were not put on earth for you to use and abuse. We were put here to be by your side- your equal, hence the whole ‘God made Eve from Adam’s rib’ thing. You’ve got to stop objectifying women in this world. What females decide to wear on their bodies is for them, not for you. When they buy a new pair of heels or a sweet LBD, I promise YOU were not on their mind. Look, I know that in school you kept hearing “boys will be boys” every time you did something stupid so you think you share no responsibility here. And I KNOW that the school dress codes further helped your cause by telling you that when women dressed a certain way it was distracting for you, and they should be punished because of it. Look, I get. We made you this way. So…
Women: Let’s stop talking shit about each other. Let’s stop slut shaming someone for wearing something we personally wouldn’t choose to wear. When we’re at a bar and see a girl surrounded by guys, let’s check on her instead of just saying “OMG, she must be such a hooch.” Women, let’s stop hating ourselves because of what older generations keep telling us. Again, I know, you were conditioned to believe that your body is shameful. The rules of school kept you covered and made you all but too aware of what your body could make a boy do. Yeah, conditioned…
Parents: Can we please stop the madness now? Talk to your sons. Let them know that how they treat women is incredibly important. Show love and compassion for your fellow human. Talk to your sons about changing bodies. Yes, they will look at women, but let’s show them that the body is beautifully made and not something put on this earth just for sex. Talk to your daughters, teach them to love themselves. Help them understand that they were wonderfully made. This advice is also vice versa as we know that women can rape too. Lets talk to our children. We have got to stop sexualizing the human figure.
America: Be outraged that someone you know will be raped in their lifetime. It will continue to happen until we change our mindsets. Men like Brock Turner were raised to believe that their impulses mattered more than the other human’s humanity. While most of us can’t comprehend that, we all are allowing it to happen by not being outraged. Brock hasn’t been called a rapist by the courts or by the media, yet that is exactly what he is. And we should be scared that we have people in this world that think like he does and believe what he did was not wrong. We conditioned him to believe that he can get his jollies no matter what. We’ve conditioned ourselves to believe that if someone is too drunk or dressed a certain way, then they were “asking for sex.” Until we stop allowing our society to sweep this issue under the rug, it will continue. Go to your school boards, and stop allowing them to dictate what is acceptable for our girls to wear. Go to your legislators and make them hold judges accountable for when the few victims that actually come forward to get justice.
It does not matter what someone said before, what they are wearing, how much they’ve had to drink, if they are passed out naked, if they are your spouse, if they are your partner… you do not have the right to violate their body. PERIOD. You do not have the right to touch someone without their expressed permission. So world, I am asking you to be outraged. I am asking you to protect your children by telling them the truth. I am asking you to let your friends know you are there for them. I personally can name on 2 hands people I know that were sexually assaulted in their lives: randomly, by family members, and by friends. My heart aches for them, knowing that we can stop this. Please take a long look in the mirror, and make sure you’re talking about these issues, or we are going to be scared of people like Brock the Rapist for years and lifetimes to come. Stop the cycle. Be a voice for what needs to change. Stop looking the other way. Educate yourselves and those that you love on how to treat other humans.
*If you’ve ever been the victim of a sexual assault, please don’t be ashamed. I am HERE for you. You are NOT at fault. You are NOT to blame. You did NOT ask for it. You did NOT want it. Male or female victims, I am here. I will always be your friend. I will always stand by your side. I will ALWAYS advocate for you. I will be there for you. If you need me, I am HERE.
Follow Tatum on Twitter at @UATatey for more insight on this and other interesting topics.