Two of my friends were almost raped this year. Two.
I never thought that it would happen to anyone I know, and since no one around me had ever been affected by this before I moved away to college, I’ve never been so closely affected by it. Neither had my friends, and thus neither of them knows the right way to deal with it. Is there a right way to deal with a complete stranger forcing themselves on you while you’re too drugged to protest, or even know what is going on?
You know what sucks the most? Neither of my friends knows the details of exactly what went on, and the fact is, they probably never will. Thankfully, both incidents were interrupted by the girls’ friends before the would-be rapists were able to “finish the job,” but who is to say what would have happened if they hadn’t been stopped?
Though both girls feel horrible at the thought that the two men will probably attempt this again, neither of them pressed charges because they were too embarrassed to talk about it and they were not perfectly sure of what went on. All they know is that there is a time of the night that they have no recollection of, and neither is sure of how long they were passed out with the other person in the room.
They’re both doing their best to move on and not let the incident affect how they live their lives, but the fact is that they shouldn’t have to.
If you’re reading this, and in the back of your mind you know that you’ve been guilty of taking advantage of a person in such a vicious way, then I’m interested in what was going on in your mind when you were on top of a passed-out girl, trying to rip off her clothes so that you can have sex with her.
Does the limp, practically lifeless body turn you on, or do you actually think that just because the girl is not protesting, it’s not rape? Neither case is normal, and you really need to get help before you do this again. I’m not going to sit here and actually think that if I ask you to turn yourself into the authorities, you’ll do it. But if not for your own good, please get help for the sake of the girls who have to deal with the event long after you’ve left and forgotten about them, and the girls who you might do this to in the future.
Do you think that violence runs in your family and therefore there’s nothing you can do about it? Are you kidding me? Genetics pass on physical features and certain personality aspects, but in no way do they indicate how a person actually chooses to live his or her life.
If you honestly believe that there is no way what you did was rape, please think about it. Had either of you been drinking? Did you discuss sex in any way, including whether either of you had been tested for STDs? Did you at least talk about what you were planning on doing once you got to the bedroom? Did you even make it to a room? Did she tell you no? Or was she passed out while you were having sex? Or was confused and even cried afterwards?
I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this. If you answered no to any of the first four questions, or worse, yes to the last ones, please don’t lie to yourself.
Statistics from the John Hopkins School of Public Health show that one out of every three women will be sexually assaulted or raped during her lifetime. Over 683,000 rapes occur every year – and 9 percent of the victims are male.
The only way that these statistics will start to show a decline of any kind is if every person takes responsibility for his or her actions. Though my friends will probably never forget what happened to them, they hopefully will be able to cope with it well enough to lead perfectly normal lives. What about those who can’t?
Maria Harutyunyan is a freshman English major.