Rape and Sex Trafficking

Every time I hear a story about rape and sex trafficking, it breaks my heart. I’ve watched movies, read books, and seen news story after news story that tells of such terrible treatment. Behaviour so horrible that it seems almost unstoppable.

There is an imbalance between men and women to varying degrees all over the world. There are fundamental differences between the genders, and sex is one of the biggest routes of so much pleasure and pain and controversy in our world.

But what always gets me is how can people do this to women, and girls, and boys? Every time I hear a story about a gang rape where there’s a group of people witnessing this and doing nothing, I have to wonder why. How? Every time I hear a story about a 13 year old girl being drugged and raped in a brothel, I always catch myself wondering what the perpetrator is thinking. How is he justifying it? Is he bothering to try? Is that part of why he’s able to do this?

How can someone do something so painful to someone else?

I’ve never found a satisfying answer. Some rapists are angry. Some are deluded. Some are apologetic. But I’ve never understood. Without being in that situation, I never will.

A few weeks ago, a woman died after being raped and beaten on a bus, and it has sparked protests all across India. It’s brought the issue of the treatment of women to people’s minds and mouths, and I am hoping that there will be some good to come from this woman’s death. Her treatment was horrific, and it must not be tolerated. Her death must not be tolerated.

Change is so slow, however. You have to change people’s opinions on sex, and sexuality, gender and women. You have to change the power imbalances between men and women. You have to change how people view entitlement and sex.

I don’t have answers on how to fix it. I know we can support many organizations around the world who save women and girls and boys from sex trafficking and who give them shelter and care. Those organizations are doing such good work, but I know their true goal – they work to elucidate the need for their organizations. They want to stop sex trafficking, but there’s so much involved in changing cultural moors and manners and beliefs that it will take decades. It is a long and slow process.

Like this post? More on Femmedia:

Empathy and Depression - With rape, people have sex all of the time. Sometimes they have sex they regret, sometimes they have sex they didn’t really want to have, and so they think they understand rape.

Victim Blaming - How could a man possibly think, rationally, “Gee, what I really want is for a woman to be TERRIFIED of me because if she got raped, she’d be the one blamed.”

Children and Empathy - When I was in grade six, a teacher once told us that she didn’t allow us to write journals because once a student wrote about her father abusing her. The teacher had to get the police involved and the young girl was very upset at the teacher. She told us this, as if to warn us against confiding in her.

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