Nancy Reagan had the “Just Say No” campaign as a means to get kids not to take drugs. She had various celebrities involved with this campaign. It wasn’t all that successful.
Another “no” campaign was the “No means No” campaign. This was designed to help prevent rape. It, after all, was designed to counter that during moments of intimacy sometimes when women say no their partners know/think they mean yes. Again not that successful of a campaign really.
In the news I’ve read countless stories about drugs being used in conjunction with sexual encounters. Some argue that giving a potential partner doesn’t equate to rape, exactly. I’m not sure how all that works. What I do know is providing people with drinks that have been altered just so that they will be unable to say no to advance doesn’t change something into not being rape.
The effects of rape go beyond the physical harm. There is the potential of deadly disease, pregnancy, there is the mental anguish and trauma to deal with. And then there is how society views rape.
All too often I hear people blame the victim for the attack. It could have to do with how the victim was dressed, location or company the victim keeps. Frequently the idea that the victim is promiscuous is brought up. Perhaps she was sending mixed signals or teasing in some way, according to those armchair juries. In other words the victim is responsible for what happens because of shameful dress, behavior or such. Iin the cases where substances are used to render the victim more pliable, it is because she isn’t careful enough.
Let’s not mistake rape for anything otter than what it is. It is a violent crime regardless of drugs being used or not. It is violence against another human’s body. And I’m sorry, but there is no way you can justify this action as result of saying no, but meaning yes. It is theft, taking of something from someone without her permission.
And while I have used her throughout this, rape can and does happen to men too. And it’s about time that we start to offer these victims support as well for the trauma to them is no less a trauma because of their gender.
Until we find a means to offer support to all our rape victims and take a stance against this crime of violence, when will it end?