Saturday, 20 April 2013

Rape and Social Media

It has been in the news lately of incidents where young rape victims have been committing suicide. They were not only embarrassed by the awful situation they endured, but also because their pain and horror was put on social media sites by their attackers for others to see.

This has become a growing trend as of late. Young people posting pictures or videos of young women, who are usually unconscious, during rape. These forms of media are being texted throughout schools and communities. It not only makes the victims feel a great amount of shame, but also gives a sense of power and control to the attacker over the wounded. This control can turn other people against them as well. This has been seen in the recent suicides of Rehtaeh Parsons and Audrie Pott. The two girls took their life, when the harassment of their peers after photos were shared of them being raped was too much.

Access to the photos/video of these events gives those that were not involved the opportunity to judge what happened themselves. “She deserved it” or “she was asking for” are common reactions when those pictures were viewed. It may not look like what the students knew of rape to be, so rather than chastising the young men responsible, they bullied and attacked the victim. No matter what it looks like to someone else, in the end, rape is rape.

With broadcasting these horrors on social media, it also shows how our younger generation is changing how certain events and attitudes are perceived. The lack of compassion in our current society combined with the explicit sexuality in our culture has created a younger generation that finds it acceptable to treat others in this humiliating way. As the issue of rape and violence against women is becoming a constant in the media, it is important that the concerned citizenry, but also social networking sites, i.e. Facebook and Twitter, take action. There has to be consequences for those that play with the vulnerability of a human life.  

By Megan Bird


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