All Voices Matter: sexual assault victims matter

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All Voices Matter: sexual assault victims matter

In her weekly column, All Voices Matter, staff reporter Aviance Pritchett gives her take on social and cultural issues.

In her weekly column, All Voices Matter, staff reporter Aviance Pritchett gives her take on social and cultural issues.

Prachurjya Shreya

In her weekly column, All Voices Matter, staff reporter Aviance Pritchett gives her take on social and cultural issues.

Prachurjya Shreya

In her weekly column, All Voices Matter, staff reporter Aviance Pritchett gives her take on social and cultural issues.

You cannot support victims, no matter what their gender is, while saying they must provide evidence of their assault. And if you believe otherwise, you clearly do not have a proper understanding of the trauma that comes from rape and sexual assault and the struggle victims have in telling their story. The reason why we are less likely to believe victims or even stand with them is because we normalized this disgusting crime. We claim that we stand with the oppressed, yet we support the oppressors in the end. ”

Last week I did a column that condemned Kavanaugh and his nomination. Once again, I’m bringing up the subject of sexual assault victims, thanks to the first lady Melania Trump’s ’s recent comment on female victims.

“I support the women and they need to be heard,” Trump said in an interview with ABC News. “We need to support them and, you know, also men, not just women.

Okay, kind of a weird wording, but a good point nonetheless.

I do stand with women, but we need to show the evidence,” Trump said in an interview with ABC News. “You cannot just say to somebody, ‘I was sexually assaulted,’ or, ‘You did that to me,’ because sometimes the media goes too far, and the way they portray some stories it’s, it’s not correct, it’s not right.”

However, the numbers appear to back up the vast majority of sexual assault claims. The National District Attorney Association states that only 2-8 percent of rapes are falsely reported, the same percentage as for other felonies.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics states that rape is the most under-reported crime, as only 63 percent of sexual assault is not reported to authorities. Meanwhile, the CDC states that 81 percent of women and 35 percent of men report significant short- or long-term impacts such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from violent crimes.

There is an ongoing movement that is trying to reform and end the rape kit backlog, which is caused by two things. The first is that even though rape kits are collected, detectives and/or prosecutors do not always request a DNA analysis, which leads to the rape kits being untested or unsubmitted, and remaining in police evidence storage indefinitely. The second issue is that crime laboratory facilities do not always test rape kits in a timely manner. Unfortunately, there isn’t a system for counting or tracking rape kits, so we may never truly know how many rape kits have gone untested.

You cannot support victims, no matter what their gender is, while saying they must provide evidence of their assault. And if you believe otherwise, you clearly do not have a proper understanding of the trauma that comes from rape and sexual assault and the struggle victims have in telling their story.

The reason why we are less likely to believe victims or even stand with them is because we normalized this disgusting crime. We claim that we stand with the oppressed, yet we support the oppressors in the end. It’s hard to say Melania Trump and her supporters care about rape and sexual assault victims when she says victims need evidence of the crime. It’s as if she is saying she supports victims yet she blames them for their own assault at the same time.

Statements like this do not help anything and something has to change. America needs to do a better  job of keeping up with these crimes, helping the victims, supporting the victims, and acknowledging the victims.