“You know, you really shouldn’t have been in that situation at all. You shouldn’t have been in the guy’s house, especially since you were supposed to be in school…”
I didn’t ‘get raped’. Someone chose to rape me.
OluTimehin Adegbeye

That’s such a textbook Christian ideology: being prude is the right way of living, and deviating in any way from that is your ticket to hell. If you enjoy life and then something happens to you — well tough luck, if only you had abided by the teachings of an old book (although ironically, there’s a lot of mysogeny and rape in that book!), nothing would have happened to you. It’s your fault!

Victim-shaming is deeply ingrained in Christian culture*. Something happened to you because you did something wrong or weren’t living right. But if you repent, you can still see the light! Catholics are even worse in this than protestants, but both share the idea that good things happen to good people, therefore bad things happen to bad people. Unless they happened because “God works in mysterious ways” (sigh); but I’d rather not imagine his role in a rape.

The truth is this: Being raped is as much your fault as being hit by a drunk driver is, or being gunned down by a madman, or being killed by a suicide bomber. Sure, you could reduce the probability of any of those events happening. By not going to parties, by not trusting other people, by not crossing streets at night or frequenting popular places that might be strategic targets for terrorists. Basically, by not living your life. But if you do that, you have already become a victim. If we believe in equal rights, than we can’t say “women shouldn’t do XYZ because then they risk getting raped”. If we can say anything, it’s “people should be taught and sensitized to treat each other with respect and not rape other people.” I mean, just imagine someone being killed in a hit-and-run, and people being like “it’s their fault, they should have known there are drunks living in this neighborhood, they should have been more careful crossing that street.” It’s insane.

*Of course, other religions are not better; don’t even get me started on Islam. These religions are coupled to philosophies that are thousands of years old, and our ethics have far progressed since then. Believe whatever you want, but if you base your moral compass on a time when slaves, pedophilia and torture were perfectly accepted by society, you’re really messed up.

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