Let’s Stop Teaching “Don’t Get Raped”, and Start Teaching “Don’t Rape”

photo of rape pictures
Recently I read a story in which a small Texas town is divided on a rape case. An 11-year-old Hispanic girl was gang raped by 20-something-year-old black men and the town is saying, “Maybe it was her fault.”

There was one suspect in custody, Eric McGowen, 20, and he was sentenced to 99 years in prison after being convicted of aggravated sexual assault of a child. McGowen admitted raping her with eight others, sometimes two at a time. He escaped during afternoon break on Wednesday and not been seen since.

Some people in the town are saying maybe this crime was “race-related” because the attackers are black and the girl is Hispanic. Some people in the town are saying that investigation is inconvenient and that girl was partially responsible because she was wearing makeup.

She is 11. She is 11 years old and I know girls nowadays look a lot older than they appear to be, but no girl asks for eight grown men to gang rape her in public. I cannot believe in 2012 this train of thought still exists. A girl NEVER asks for it. I don’t care how big of a cocktease she is. That makes her a silly person – that doesn’t make her your victim, your toy, or your right.

There is a horrible trend in this country. We teach girls “don’t get raped.” We teach girls to walk in groups at night, don’t wear that dress, don’t wear that red lipstick, don’t wear those heels. Don’t get raped. If you do get raped—be prepared to be at fault. Be prepared to have your sexual history put on trial, your outfits, your age, your race. Be prepared to defend your right to say no to a man.

What we need to do in this country isn’t teach girls “don’t get raped,” it’s to teach men DO NOT RAPE. A woman is not yours just because you want her to be. You cannot take anything you want from her. You cannot destroy her. You don’t have that right. If you try to do any of those things to a woman or God forbid a child …then you go to jail for life. It’s as simple as that. You are punished for life because that is exactly what you have done to your victim. You have stolen their right to a normal, happy life.

I read this story about the Texas town while I researching a story that happened in Turkey. A 26 year-old mother of two recently killed her rapist. She had been raped by this man for months. He took nude photos of her and threatened to send them to her parents unless she continued sleeping with him. She is five months pregnant with her rapist’s baby. In Turkey, you cannot have an abortion after ten weeks. It wasn’t an option for her to get an abortion at ten weeks because her attacker was still alive and this was his rape baby, and he said no. She is demanding that Turkey allow her to get the abortion even though she is passed ten weeks. She said she is prepared to die as long as she is allowed to have the abortion. If she is not allowed to have the abortion she will be forced to have this man’s baby and to care for it – the very man who blackmailed and raped her for months.

She took a gun and shot her rapist ten times, several of which went straight to his genitals. She then cut off his head and threw it in the village square at Yalvac.  She was arrested near his severed head. When police arrested her she said, “That is the head of one who toyed with my honor.”

During her testimony she said, “He kept saying that he would tell everyone about the rape, my daughter will start school this year. Everyone would have insulted my children. Now no one can. I saved my honour,” she added. “They will now call (my) children the kids of the women who saved her honor.”

Anyone who watches Criminal Minds, Law and Order SVU, Crime Documentaries, or any police show on television knows that when someone shoots someone ten times and decapitates them it’s called “overkill.” It’s the use of excess force and for police it’s a clue that there was a lot of rage and emotion behind a killing. It’s not a calculated thing of enjoyment – it is a frenzied thing of exasperation and desperation.

I am not saying she was right. I am saying this is an illustration of what rape can do to someone. Shot ten times in the genitals, decapitated … This woman is willing to die as long as his baby is removed from her.

Why? Why does this happen? It’s senseless. It’s entitlement. It’s disgusting. It’s antiquated. It’s unnecessary and it needs to end now.

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2 thoughts on “Let’s Stop Teaching “Don’t Get Raped”, and Start Teaching “Don’t Rape”

  1. I think that what the woman in Turkey did was absolutely right. It is still baffling to me that, even in the US, a rape survivor stands a good chance of being prosecuted for killing his or her rapist.

    I think that I understand sexual sadists more than I understand rapists. And, to be clear, I don’t “totally get” sexual sadists. But I do not see how someone could see a woman (or man) and think: “Well, I can just do whatever I want with that person.”

    And I would have such a difficult time telling a daughter or sister or friend “don’t wear that,” because of course people should look beautiful. In fact, even walking around completely naked does not qualify as an “invitation for rape.” Because NOTHING DOES.

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