I have dedicated my life to promoting equality for all. I will always be passionate about working to end injustices facing all groups of people. But saving the entire world is a lofty goal, so I have decided to do what I can to make the world a more beautiful and safe place for women in poverty, a group that around the world faces many barriers. As a women’s rights activist I have faced much criticism for not taking a broad approach that is more inclusive of male survivors when addressing issues such as rape.
This article from the Women’s Media Center discusses the consequences of creating a competition between male and female rape. The author reminded me that this is NOT an argument that should exist, that there are many males around the world who face unwanted sexual contact and rape. BUT the facts still show that women face rape in the US and around the world at a much higher rate. Here are some of these facts:
- According to The Guardian, between 2009 and 2012, annual rape cases in England and Wales were estimated at 78,000, of which 69,000 had a female victim.
- A 2004 study by Statistics Canada found that “sexual victimization rates for females were almost 5 times the rate for males. … Similarly, police-reported data for 2007 indicate that female rates of sexual victimization were 5.6 times higher than male rates.”
- A 2010 study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that in the Democratic Republic of Congo, about 40 percent of women and 24 percent of men reported being exposed to sexual violence.
I could go on and on with facts that show the dangers women face compared to men. Another important thing to remember is that these numbers are low because rape goes unreported. The author wrote, “While the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) estimates that about 54 percent of all assaults in the U.S. go unreported, a study by the University of Rochester found reporting rates to be as low as 16 percent.” The message I want to leave you with is that the rates at which rape occurs around the world to both women and men is terrifyingly high and we ALL need to play our part to stop it.