America Has a Rape Problem


© Shutterstock

June 22, 2016 23:45 EDT

Every so often, a rape case like the one in Stanford will catch the public’s attention but then disappear.

On June 2, the Stanford University rape case ruling came in from Judge Aaron Persky. His ruling showed no empathy for the victim and showed extraordinary leniency to Brock Turner, the perpetrator who has expressed no remorse over his actions. In fact, Turner’s father characterized his behavior as “20 minutes of action.”

A shocked nation and world swung into frenzied action. Outraged against Judge Persky’s ruling, more than 1 million people globally signed a petition calling for his recall. In Santa Clara County, Persky’s recall motion is being led by a Stanford law school professor hoping to get the 60,000 signatures needed for the recall to proceed.

I don’t know what will come of it—perhaps Judge Persky will indeed lose his position in disgrace. Or not.

But make no mistake about it: This outrage too shall pass. In a year’s time, this incident will be distant memory for most people except the victim.

Meanwhile, every two minutes, another sexual assault will continue to happen in America. That is a staggering 290,000 number each year. America had the dubious distinction of holding the number one position for sexual assaults until South Africa recently took that position with a mind numbing 500,000 sexual assaults each year. Of the 290,000 assaults in America, more than 65,000 of them happen in a college setting against young women.

How many of you are still eager to send your daughter off to that Ivy League college across the coast? Have you ever paused to think about these numbers and wonder why this disgraceful crime continues to happen year after year?

Well, we have people like Dan Turner to thank for it. For him, rape is “20 minutes of action.” We have the media to thank for it. For them, women are nothing more than sex objects. We have the nearly $100 billion porn industry to thank for it, of which more than $10 billion of business happens in America. We have a patriarchal society to thank for it, which has never treated women as equal to men and worse, and blamed them for the fact that men can’t keep their libido in check.


© Shutterstock

Rape Crimes

Eight of the top 10 countries with rape crimes are from the so-called civilized Western world. Denmark, Finland, Sweden, England, Wales, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and, of course, the United States of America make a near clean sweep of this disgraceful list. Rounding off the top 10 are Zimbabwe and South Africa as well as the country of my birth, India.

In India, over 33,000 rapes were reported in 2014 alone. It’s anyone’s guess how many thousands go unreported. That’s at least one in every 20 minutes. New Delhi, the capital of India, could very well be the rape capital of the country too.

In 2012, Delhi was the center of world’s attention when Nirbhaya, a college girl coming home with her boyfriend from a movie, was brutally gang raped and murdered. India and the whole world were outraged. Media was at a frenzied height. Yet the number of reported rapes went up from 24,000 in 2012 to 33,000 in 2013 after all that attention and hue and cry.

I have no solution to offer other than genetically reengineering men and their libido. But will that ever happen?

Every so often, a case like the one in Stanford will catch the public’s attention. The reality drama will grip people. When justice doesn’t prevail, as in the Stanford case, people will even revolt. A judge may even lose his job.

But this outrage too shall pass. Make no mistake about it. This outrage too shall pass.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.

Photo Credit: Vava Vladimir Jovanovic

Fair Observer - World News, Politics, Economics, Business and CultureWe bring you perspectives from around the world. Help us to inform and educate. Your donation is tax-deductible. Join over 400 people to become a donor or you could choose to be a sponsor.

Support Fair Observer

We rely on your support for our independence, diversity and quality.

For more than 10 years, Fair Observer has been free, fair and independent. No billionaire owns us, no advertisers control us. We are a reader-supported nonprofit. Unlike many other publications, we keep our content free for readers regardless of where they live or whether they can afford to pay. We have no paywalls and no ads.

In the post-truth era of fake news, echo chambers and filter bubbles, we publish a plurality of perspectives from around the world. Anyone can publish with us, but everyone goes through a rigorous editorial process. So, you get fact-checked, well-reasoned content instead of noise.

We publish 2,500+ voices from 90+ countries. We also conduct education and training programs on subjects ranging from digital media and journalism to writing and critical thinking. This doesn’t come cheap. Servers, editors, trainers and web developers cost money.
Please consider supporting us on a regular basis as a recurring donor or a sustaining member.

Will you support FO’s journalism?

We rely on your support for our independence, diversity and quality.

Donation Cycle

Donation Amount

The IRS recognizes Fair Observer as a section 501(c)(3) registered public charity (EIN: 46-4070943), enabling you to claim a tax deduction.

Make Sense of the World

Unique Insights from 2,500+ Contributors in 90+ Countries

Support Fair Observer

Support Fair Observer by becoming a sustaining member

Become a Member