By Doris Deits
If we truly want peace in our hearts and peace on this planet we must end the trauma of rape for humanity.
Nobody likes to confront the issues of rape and sexual assault. I get it. Rape is a weird, creepy issue that makes us uncomfortable. People ignore it for the most part and just try to get on with their lives.
Unfortunately that denial thing isn’t helping, and it’s actually contributing to our ‘rape culture’ which has a tendency to minimize violence against women (see Wikipedia; everydayfeminism.com).
Few people want to look at the ugliest facet of rape – the fact that it is so commonplace that it’s in the very fabric of our existence. The reality is that the majority of people on this planet have or will experience rape or sexual abuse as an infant, a child, a teenager or an adult.
It’s time for our communities and our society to pull this festering boil on humanity’s ass out into the light of day and figure it out. Rape is no joke; it’s an epidemic. It has a tremendous psychological cost that is a detriment to human evolution.
If we can confront this problem, we can start fixing it.
The first thing we need to do is start talking about it. When abuse survivors talk about their experience and share their stories they start to feel better. Honest, sincere communication is needed. Share your support and caring when someone opens up to you. By ending the silence of rape, we come together. We begin to heal.
I’ll start with my story. I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. I was abused by my father when I was very young, raped by two teenaged cousins when I was 6 yrs. old, and shortly thereafter my older teenaged brother decided it was his turn to brutalize my small body.
Every male that assaulted me had been raped when they were young. In fact, my entire ancestry appears to have been built on a foundation of the rape experience. I am not a fan of this family tradition.
I am not alone. Approximately 70% of the people I’ve spoken to about abuse have had similar and often worse experiences. Rape is the one experience I have in common with billions of other people on this planet. I know how these people feel. I know what rape does to a person.
Once we cut through the BS and acknowledge that yes, rape does appear to play a large role in how we relate to each other as human beings we can start something I like to call “a new plan.” Let’s replace acts of rape with acts of mutual respect and mutual caring. It’s a tall order, but not out of reach.
We have to ask ourselves why we focus on educating women on how to avoid being raped, but we put no effort into educating boys and men not to rape. We need to start a dialogue and create programs that define appropriate behavior towards women regarding sex and sexuality. We must define what healthy relating looks like.
Let’s show everyone what mutual respect and mutual caring looks like. If we give people constructive goals and a way to get there, we can work miracles.
Next we need to look at the brutality of rape. Instinctual primal aggression is the fuel for violence. The sense of violation and victimhood is the match. Bring these together and kaboom! The cycle of violence and abuse continues.
We can’t get rid of primal aggression without a something like a lobotomy, but we can manage it so it doesn’t get too extreme. Appropriate expression of primal aggression is the goal and there are many ways to get there. We just need to start the dialogue.
Over 95% of reported rape is perpetrated by men. We need to speak out and demand ‘no more rape, stop the violence.’ Not just to men, but to the media that construct violent masculinity images for society. Young men have been forced to fit into a ‘tough guy’ persona or be ridiculed.
Look to who is creating the blueprint for violence in our society and demand something better. Men can be masculine and powerful without being violent. Being a man is not about brutality. Give our young, adolescent and grown men something else to strive towards.
Rape and abuse is the way many people are relating to each other. It’s not, however, helping us to become better human beings. We can do better if we just try.
Let us support each other and unite to start healing this gaping wound within humanity.