A Poem on the Friction of a Sexual Assault

Scientifically, friction is defined as the resistance that one object encounters when moving against another. A victim feels just this while being sexually assaulted, along with an emotional response that no scientist can explain. Pure terror. Don’t tell me the fear isn’t real. Don’t tell me it’s a tall tale. Just because it doesn’t appeal to you doesn’t mean it’s fiction. It’s the worst kind of friction.

There is a four year-old girl.
Her great uncle took her into a room and undressed her.
She was not safe.
She did not know this.
He continued to kiss her.
One day her mother walked in and screamed.
He is in jail.
She is in her own prison that she may never escape.
And still they say,
“Get over it.”

There is a seventeen year-old boy.
He cannot walk around his own house in his underwear.
His stepbrother sexually assaulted him in the night.
He barricaded his room after.
The stepbrother did not care about anyone but himself and his sex drive.
A panic appeared in the boy that was very much alive.
“Men cannot be raped.”

There is a fourteen year-old girl.
She now walks around with clenched fists.
She is scared to go against him in court.
It is hard to win when every case is hit or miss.
It’s always the victim’s fault for not dressing modestly.
“She was asking for it.”

There is a fifteen year-old closeted trans boy.
A girl took him into his room, and kissed him.
He asked her to stop.
She continued to kiss him.
She pulled down his pants and began to touch him.
He wasn’t comfortable with his body
And he wasn’t comfortable with her feeling it.
“Women cannot be rapists.”

There is a thirteen year-old girl.
Her neighbor asked her to go on a walk with him.
He wanted to have sex with her.
She said no.
He beat her until she couldn’t.
She went home, hopped in a shower, let the water run cold.
He wanted her virginity as a trophy.
“Sex is a prize.”

You see it in the news.
“Former Stanford swimmer convicted of rape gets ‘slap on the wrist sentence’ of six months.”
He is not a “former Stanford swimmer.”
He is a rapist.
“Two teen boys’ ‘promising lives’ will be destroyed by a ‘youthful mistake’ and a ‘lapse in ideals’.”
Their lives are not “promising.”
They are rapists.
“Judge to woman in rape case: ‘Why couldn’t you just keep your knees together?’”
Her knees were likely forced open.
She was raped.
Rape is everywhere.
The blame is everywhere besides where it should be.
“Rape isn’t always because people are rapists.”

Except it is.

They will always say,
“Get over it.”
“Men cannot be raped.”
“She was asking for it.”
“Women cannot be rapists.”
“Sex is a prize.”
“Rape isn’t always because people are rapists.”

Ignore them.

If anybody thinks that rapists aren’t the problem,
They are part of the issue.
I dare them to look into my eyes,
Call me a social justice warrior,
And tell me that what I am about to say is a surprise—
Rape culture exists.

An afterword on rape culture:
A stigma is a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person. 'They' want to perpetrate all of the stigmas about rape, but the truth is nobody wants it, nobody asks for it, nobody deserves it. Rape can happen to anyone, and in the face of it, you cannot bring the courage to fight back. You are frozen. You do not know how to stop it when it blows in. You stand there and listen to people discuss rape or ignore rape or make jokes about rape. You have a gaping hole in you that can never go away.
34% of sexual assaults are reported. 6 rapists out of 1,000 assault cases will be incarcerated, meaning that .06% of rapists are put in jail. Do not blame the victim for what was thrust upon them. Blame the assaulter. We should be teaching perpetrators not to rape, rather than teaching victims not to be raped.
The question that lingers in many people’s mind when I speak of rape culture and the 66% of sexual assaults that go unreported is “Why don’t they just tell someone?”. You see, the problem with rape culture and much of today's societ is that people are all too quick to assume things and judge others. This makes it incredibly difficult for someone who has been hurt to tell anyone, since they are a) in denial b) scared of repercussions c) blame themselves and/or d) do not think that anyone will believe or help them. Rape culture is redefining the meaning of rape. It makes it seem less harmful than it truly is, as well as creating a system based on victim blaming—as if it was the victim’s fault for having a body. If we put a stop to the food from which rape culture thrives, the ideas that come with it will slowly die off.
Do not let anyone tell you that rape culture doesn’t exist. It is very much alive. Do not let anyone call you a ‘social justice warrior’ because you talk about the dangers and horrors of rape culture, or any other sensitive topic. Do not let anyone stop you.

Visual by Indie Fonkem and Text by Dharma Gilley

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