Sunday, June 12, 2016

What to teach our daughters about rape.

Other than raising boys who respect and protect women, is there nothing women can do to help prevent or protect themselves against the rape culture out there? 

Things like this are all over the web & social media in response to recent horrible stories of rape on college campuses. "Rape isn't caused by dressing slutty, getting drunk, or hanging out with the wrong crowd."
Image result for rapists cause rape meme

And I have to say that I 100%, absolutely agree. No matter how immodest the dress or how low the inhibitions, a male still has the ability & responsibility to walk away, to take her home, or call a cab. That is truth, and we need to expect such from our sons & friends. 

But is that all there is? Must we leave women there, with no defense, no suggestions whatsoever about how they might lower their chances of it happening to them? I'm a little surprised that feminists would be OK with leaving women as helpless victims, with absolutely no ideas or strategies for how to protect themselves. Because leaving it at the above graphic, with no other clarification, does exactly that. 

Statistics matter, and they should matter to us as parents & friends of women. One-half of all cases of sexual assaults involve victims who were drinking at the time. Some studies suggest that statistic is as high as 79%. 1 in 3 perpetrators were drinking at the time. 82% of rapes were by acquaintances, not strangers. While there is no way to know for sure whether someone is capable of rape, there is something to be said for our grandmother's admonition to be careful whom you hang around. Hanging out at frat houses can also increase your chances of being raped. (an actual statistic) 

I don't think there are any statistics on modest dress and rape, since it's such a subjective topic. While it certainly does not guarantee immunity, it goes against common sense to think that dressing modestly wouldn't decrease the chances. (I am NOT saying fault; fault is a completely different. If you're not wearing a helmet & pads on your skateboard & someone pushes you down hard, & you break something, it was NOT your fault. But wearing the pads COULD HAVE prevented a broken bone. Make sense?) Teaching our daughters to dress reasonably modestly will help protect them. If you, as her father & mother (but especially father), are not setting limits in this area, you are not doing everything you can to protect your daughter, not just from rape but from being mentally ogled as well. Wives, we need to trust our husbands in this area; we don't have a male mind. Another thing that can help is not letting your kids attend sleepovers.

I had a great college experience, never had a drop of alcohol until I turned 21, have never been drunk, didn't go out with guys I didn't know, didn't hang out in bars, etc. Could it have still happened to me? YES! And my point is not that I'm some morally superior person (that was all the grace of God), but that those things helped protect me while still allowing me to have a blast in my college experience! 

Please, let's educate our daughters about what do if something should happen to them, to go to the authorities & that it is never never their fault. But let's also equip them with strategies that will help to protect them.