Did you know that the Violence Against Women Act is up for renewal and that many in Congress, including Chuck Grassley, have voted against it in the past?
“If Congress fails to reauthorize VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) this year, the impact will be hard felt. Not only could it mean a loss of essential services that enable survivors to heal and seek justice, but it will inhibit states’ ability to fully prosecute sex crimes.”
Violence, and especially violence against women, is a horror we can do something about.
About 10 % of all relationships are abusive. The question is, who abuses their partner and why?
Abusive People often can’t express themselves and are unable to communicate effectively with others. Furthermore, they are “fearfully attached” to their partners. Some studies have identified these traits in abusers: highly sensitive to criticism, blame the victim and or circumstances, do not take responsibility for their actions, do not fit in well with society, have low levels of empathy. They do not like themselves–they have a lot of shame about what they are doing to their partners. They become frustrated easily, can be irresponsible and find it hard to have fun. Click here for more.
Fortunately, this behavior can be modified through therapy and by society.
What about rapists? They are a more complicated bunch, and society cheers them on in subtle ways. Around 600 women in the United States are raped by men each day. Most often, these are women under the age of 24. Rape is a crime that is reflective of society.
“Young people who gang up on and violate a semi-conscious woman and post pictures on Facebook are not acting on some individually dreamed up sexual fantasy but rather following group norms. We know from psychological research that once a group is established, the immediate pressure to adhere to the in-group code will often override the desire and ability to reach across to a member of the out-group.”
Men are most likely to rape and coerce women when they have peers who express hostility towards women. However, rapists may also be anti-social people. who express hostility on-line or to themselves. We can’t so quickly write off rape as a crime done by a person outside of social norms as is more often seen with domestic abusers. Sometimes, people learn from movies and other aspects of our culture that rape is okay if the woman is drunk or you are a cool. Click here for a very good link.
Most men who violate women see it as a part of being masculine. Some see it as an entitlement, such as they bought the woman something or they are rich and famous. These rapists, unlike many perpetrators of other forms of violence, are self assured and entitled.
Often, these people objectify women. “Sexual objectification changes the way people view women by reducing them to sexual objects—denied humanity and an internal mental life, as well as deemed unworthy of moral concern.”
In other words, people who see women as sexual objects do not care about their feelings when the women are wronged.
Women can be complacent in violence against other women. A person can be a women or have daughters and still be a part of society’s acceptance of Violence Against Women. Laws against violence help prevent violence but even more, social shunning of violence is important in halting it. Unfortunately, we have a whole cast of ugly characters in office who normalize it at this time.
(PDF) Sexual Objectification Increases Rape Victim Blame and Decreases Perceived Suffering. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/249136582_Sexual_Objectification_Increases_Rape_Victim_Blame_and_Decreases_Perceived_Suffering[accessed Oct 09 2018].