Editorial: The Great Rape Debate

There is no such thing as illegitimate rape. Rape, whether forcible, coerced or because consent could not be given, is always legitimate.

The simple truth of the matter is that it is easy for a person who has never expe­rienced rape or the threat of rape to talk about what a victim should or should not have done, but in reality, people make good and bad decisions all the time. Bad decisions do not lessen a per­son’s claim of violation.

Asking a victim about clothing choice, number of drinks, relationship status, previous sexual history and other questions to determine the validity of a rape claim is further trauma on top of a nightmarish situation.

It is questions like these, and the subsequent threat of stigmatization, that causes so many vic­tims to remain quiet about a rape. The men­tality of slut until proven victim has to stop.

If a person claims to have been mugged or threat­ened, that person is treated as a victim of a crime until proven otherwise. No court has ever found a mugger not guilty because the victim should have known better than to walk down a dark alleyway at night. The same respect and dignity should be granted to anyone who reports a rape. They are rape victims until proven otherwise.

Rape is not a political debate; it is not a myth, nor is it a title granted to the few situations in which a whole­some and innocent victim does everything just right, but is still attacked. Rape happens to people from all walks of life, from all gen­ders, sober or high, virginal or promiscuous. Any rape is a legitimate rape.

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