Who We Believe, And Who We Believe is Important

Irreverin | 9/19/2018 | Staff
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We know the statistics. One in five women will be raped in her lifetime.

Around 63 percent of cases go unreported to police. Of those reported, only about 2 to 10 percent are ever revealed as “false reporting.”

Number - Cases - Arrest - Conviction - Sentence

Meanwhile, the number of reported cases that lead to an actual arrest, conviction and sentence? Staggeringly low. Some statistics reveal that as few as six rapists out of every 1,000 will ever face prison time.

Of course, these numbers cannot be exact, because so few cases are reported and tried. But one thing is certain: there are far more women who are rape survivors than there are men who face consequences for rape.

Numbers - Numbers - Women - Stories - Accusation

We know these numbers. We may even believe these numbers. What we struggle to believe are actual women’s stories. Especially when their accusation involves a powerful or otherwise-presentable white man. Those criminals don’t fit the popular profile of the vague, villainous “other.” Furthermore, we’ve built an entire culture and system of government around the unassailable authority of the white man. So when a woman comes forward with an account of what happened to her own body, her own testimony of abuse or assault, the default response is still: what if she’s lying? The statistics don’t matter, in real time. We might believe, in broad strokes, that one in five women has been assaulted, but we struggle to believe that so many men are capable of assault.

So it’s sickening—but not at all surprising—when Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s account of attempted assault by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is met with skepticism, dismissive platitudes and outright hostility. Not just from those who have authority to intercede, but from the public at large.

Nameless - Faceless - Victims - Women

We believe in nameless, faceless victims: we don’t always believe actual women.

Then again, maybe “belief” isn’t the problem. Maybe we believe and...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Irreverin
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