Why don’t people report rape?

Despite the #MeToo movement and awareness that more women, and men, have been raped then the public has always been told, why don’t women and men come forward? This is just my opinion, but I believe it is because most women don’t want to admit they have been violated and that we, as women, have been conditioned to think we are at least partially to blame when something bad happens to us. As far as men who have been raped, it has to be worse for them to come forward as everything that is about to be said about women coming forward is in addition to the fact that many people don’t believe a man can be raped.
I was just reading a book from 1992 and I had to keep reminding myself that the was over 20 years old as the attitudes about rape haven’t really changed that much since then. In the book, a reporter went to an author’s hotel room to discuss his upcoming book, and she ended up shooting him. So, the rest of the store itself isn’t the issue here, but the fact she was being prosecuted for murder when she alleged that he tried to rape her is. The way she was handled both by the officers and the prosecutor in that story seem to be similar to have people react a quarter of a century later, they asked things like “What were you wearing?” “Why did you meet him there, instead of in public?’ “Do you think that he thought you were going to have sex with him?”
Those questions are almost the same as ones I have heard asked of women that have been assaulted, as if what the rapist thought or wanted from them was their fault or they are responsible for the fact they were raped. Society doesn’t have to ask these women these questions. All of us have been conditioned to hear the questions in our heads and it makes it that much harder for people to come forward.
Further when they do come forward, even though the other side can’t use their sexual history in a trial, the police will ask about it and if there is a civil trial, the alleged rapist’s attorney can ask all of that information, even when it can’t be used in open Court (other than in specific instances). Of course, the person accused of rape doesn’t have to answer any questions, as he or she, can take assert their Fifth Amendment Right not to incriminate themselves.
We know what society says to anyone that was raped, and how they are questioned about being assaulted (when no one asks to be raped), so it is no wonder that many many people don’t report the rape and even if they do, they don’t report right away.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *