By Levi Flood – Contributing Writer
According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network, one in 33 men has been the victim of sexual assault. For every male victim there are nine female victims. Because of this, the word rape has ceased to be gender-neutral. Therefore, when victims are assumed to be female, the three million male victims living in America are forgotten and alienated.
Last month, a sexual assault was reported at Lasell College. The incident was covered by the Boston Globe, CBS, and Fox News. Of these reports, none have referred to the victim with gender-specific terminology. And yet, during many of the countless discussions ongoing around campus, the victim is being referred to as “she” or “her.”
Sexual assault is an unfortunate part of our society. This tragedy touches almost every individual around the world, whether they are victims themselves or have loved ones who have been victimized. For anyone affected, the very thought of these violations trigger rage, sorrow, and many raw emotions. But when you hear a testimony and assume that the survivor is the speaker’s mother or wife or daughter, you fail to truly understand the gravity of this situation.
Gender equality needs to be a two-way street. A husband has the same need to know how to protect himself as his wife. A boy is in no less danger from a predator than his female peers, despite an outdated belief that he is stronger because of his sex. A man’s life is no less affected following a violation just because he is a man.
An article on rape statistics on hathorlegacy.com said, “Rape isn’t a women’s issue. It’s a human issue.”
More women are sexual assaulted than men, women are statistically at a greater risk than men of being sexually assaulted, and men are far more likely to commit sexual assault than women. However, this in no way detracts from the need to educate and protect the male population from this terrible situation.
Americans have always fought against discrimination. Now it’s time to take up the fight on not discrimination, but assumption.