Stigmatization of Rape Victims

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Stigmatization of Rape Victims
After being raped in 2011, Angie Epifano, a former student at Amherst College, wrote a personal account of her story that was published on Amherst’s independent student newspaper’s website (Epifano, 2012). Reading it swallows the human soul and spits it out in a black withered husk. Epifano was raped, but when she tried to get counseling she was sent to a psyche ward. She was constantly told that she was overreacting or that she was much too angry about it. Her attacker graduated with full honors and a slap on the wrist. Though she recovered and started on the path of healing, the college decided to obstruct her normal life in every way. They had almost stopped her from going back to campus. But she got back and she was excited to study abroad so that she could get a new environment. Amherst, however, nixed that plan, and she was stuck on campus. They wouldn’t let her leave, and claimed to monitor her for her own safety. Ultimately, she made plans and withdrew from Amherst.

Unfortunately, Epifano’s story is not unique. There is an average of 207, 754 sexual assault victims (age 12 or older) every year. Though these victims are of any race, gender, and spectrum; women face a special form of misogyny and slut shame after their attacks. Instead of being protected and supported, many of these women are blamed for their attack. They are ostracized by society as being shameful. Not only are the women treated as scum of the mainstream, they are often treated as an abstract ideal. But they suffer very real medical problems and conditions related to their attacks. Our culture has fostered a generation that considers rape as a norm and shame as a primary fallback. The first thought that pops into mind when a rape victim is mentioned is “Was she asking for it?” We should be working towards a society without the shame and persecution of the victims. And instead try to prevent the offenders from happening in the first place....
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