The Mostly Silent Destroyer

By Kellene Bishop

Silence.

Loneliness.

Darkness. 

Fear.

Most humans feel such troubling emotions at some point—however brief or extended—in life.  We struggle to fight against their powerful grasp.  In desperation we look to others for comfort and love and support, and when achieved, we eventually move forward stronger than before.  But what if those people we trust to pull us out of the misery are those who darken and destroy—the very manufacturers of our fear? 

This is the reality for more than 200,000 American women every year. 

Rape is a disgusting and horrifying crime, and to most women, their greatest nightmare.  The very thought of the word repulses most.  According to FBI records, more than 90,000 attacks are reported every year in the U.S.  That number, though high and unfortunate, pales in comparison to what’s really happening.  The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that more than 300,000 women are forced to survive a rape each year.  But according to other studies, less than one in three women reports their real-life nightmare to police or other authorities.  Additionally, it’s important to understand that the numbers which the FBI reports are conveyed to them by police stations all over the U.S.  Unfortunately countless police stations are found to be inconsistent in properly reporting rapes as well.  To me this is akin to assault on the woman.  And it’s nothing short of shameful.

shame-by-jfqIn addition to the callous approach the police departments employ in reporting rape statistics to the FBI, “shame” also has a lot to do with many women not reporting such attacks.  Alcohol consumption and drug abuse are often familiar prequels to rape, and no women would want to be labeled as an abuser or out of control.  And due to natural side effects of substances, it’s common the victim is entirely unaware of what, if anything at all, even happened.  Also, in some micro-cultures which have filtered into the U.S. from regions worldwide, rape victims are inexplicably seen as dirty, shamed, and of less worth to their families, recognized as being at fault for having lead-on the attacker.  Having to relive the horrors of the incident to fill out a report and even testify in court understandably seems too much to handle.  Ironically, many take an even more difficult path which requires silence, but ultimately does more damage emotionally, as well as physically and subsequently financially.  

As is presently reported, the majority of rape victims, 52% in fact, are females younger than 26.  Many are in college and pursuing goals and careers.  These are independent women with oft-heard opinions and strong voices.  So why are they suffering their assaults in silence?  Because two-thirds of all perpetrators are either friends, regular associates, or even intimate partners.  Sixty-four percent of the time the woman is raped by a trusted companion!  That’s a particularly dangerous problem because the ripple effect brutalizes them once again at close range.  Oft times the woman victim has deep emotional feelings and even sincere love for the attacker so the crime is never reported, opting instead to give the perpetrator another chance. 

According to the justice department, it’s rare that attackers use extreme force or brutality during the rape, even though psychologists believe it to be an act of dominion and power.  Consequently, it’s rare that there is an abundance of physical evidence surrounding the attack.  This is another reason why more rapes aren’t reported by victims and police departments, and why more perpetrators aren’t taken to court.  Without physical evidence, and because of the commonality of alcohol and drug abuse during the act, the charge seemingly amounts to little more than a victim’s personal vendetta against her attacker.  It’s her word against his, and he’s innocent until proven guilty.

The nightmare continues.  The survivor sits alone in silence, darkness, and fear… unless. 

What if women stopped relying on the police departments to protect them from this heinous crime?  What if, instead, women took their safety into their own hands by becoming fully informed and educated on how to recognize a looming rape occurrence and how to successfully thwart it?  A physical self-defense series.   A self-defense firearm training class.  All of these are ideal counter-measures to ensure that you never have to become a survivor and be left to simply dance to the present music that’s played nationwide.  If a rape is fought back with skill and a pre-conditioned mind, then the survivor will be able to much better cope with the incident, leaving it behind with a sense of conquering evil rather than being trampled in its path.

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.
You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.  
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