The teenage gang rapist who got a longer sentence because he was unrepentant and angry at his rape victim for having an abortion isn't alone in wanting to control what happens reproductively to the girl he raped.
Rapists wanting their victims to have completed pregnancies doesn't have anything to do with respect for life. For these rapists the pregnancies they want to impose on their victims are important primarily because they permanently link the rape victim to her rapist. The child becomes another way to control the rape victim.
Since these rapists are known to their victims, these rapists are certain that most juries will dismiss their rapes as a normal part of a turbulent relationship. If those who rape as part of a turbulent relationship are convicted, there will be ignorant people who declare them falsely convicted.
This ignorance about sexual violence within relationships needs to stop.
The Know More, Say More website is part of a new initiative from the Family Violence Prevention Fund which can make a dent in the ignorance. It addresses head on the reality that sexual violence often goes beyond the rape itself. The kNOw More initiative deals with the reproductive health consequences of sexual coercion and violence among young women.
Young women in abusive relationships often face birth control sabotage and reproductive coercion. Too often this sabotage and coercion is dismissed by outsiders as being a problem with the one sabotaged or coerced.
A significant correlation exists between childhood sexual abuse and teen pregnancy. An estimated 60 percent of teen girls’ first pregnancies are preceded by experiences of molestation, rape, or attempted rape. In one study, between 30 and 44 percent of teen mothers were victims of rape or attempted rape, and up to 20 percent of girls were pregnant as the direct result of rape.
Did you catch that last line? Up to 1 in 5 girls were pregnant as a direct result of rape. Remember that the next time someone uses a demeaning descriptor for a pregnant girl or says, "She got herself pregnant."
We cannot afford to do nothing about this wider scope of violence. We must be as aware of what is going on as the most clever rapist. Coercion is not simply changing another person's mind. Coercion is based on a deep level of disrepect for others and a willingness to harm the person being coerced.
So go check out the Know More, Say More website.
Labels: Violence Against Women