Highlighting myths about rape

20 Aug

Great article in The Wellingtonian this week: Myths about rape. (And no, I don’t just think it’s great because I was interviewed for it!)

It’s nice, for once, to see an article talking about sexual assault without quoting someone who thinks those brazen sluts should just take responsibility when they’re assaulted, and I’m genuinely thrilled to see someone focusing on the idea that we need more comprehensive sexual education — which was something I was really pushing in the lead-up to SlutWalk, and which no one really seemed to want to listen to.

What really interested me, though, was the statistics at the end of the article. Up-to-date statistics on rape and sexual assault in New Zealand aren’t easily found, so it was great to see such recent figures:

Rape Crisis client statistics for the period July 2010 to June 2011 (statistics include reported cases of both rape and sexual abuse):

– More than half of sexual abuse victims reported the offender was a partner, family member or friend.

– Only 2 per cent of attacks were attributed to someone the victim met on the night of the offence.

– Just 3 per cent of attacks were attributed to strangers.

Using my powers of advanced mathematics, if 3% of attacks are committed by strangers and 2% are committed by someone met the night of the attack, then that leaves 95% of sexual assaults committed by someone previously known to the victim.

So can somebody please explain to me why the hell we are still framing rape and sexual assault in terms of stranger-rape? Those numbers are actually pretty damn hard to ignore.

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Posted by on August 20, 2011 in Media, Rape/Sexual Assault


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