Thursday, December 15, 2011

Rape Is Never A Joke -- and Too Real for Too Many of Us

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control released yesterday found that one in five women report they have been the victim of sexual assault, more than half when they were teenagers.

I'm one of those women.

I was a victim of date rape once at college and once in my early twenties. Except at the time there wasn't a term for "date rape" -- it was more understood as "that's what you get if you are alone with a man in a bedroom." I reported neither. In today's world, I would have reported both.

I'd like to think that in today's world they wouldn't happen -- that young men know that "no means no" and that in the second situation, I would have screamed and fought back sooner.

But the story coming out of the University of Vermont indicates that things may not have changed as much as we'd like to think. A fraternity there did a poll last weekend asking, "who would you like to rape?" Not, who would you like to go out with, get to know, even have sex with, but RAPE. My heart chilled as I read that story.

The young men there have been censured and said it was just a joke. But, rape is never a joke. Just ask one in five women you know.

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