As I was doing the readings for chapter 10, I couldn’t help but feel disgusted and frankly, a little discouraged. Obviously violence against women is an ongoing issue of society, but to know that it is happening as frequent as it is really disheartening. Not only is general violence 10 times more likely to be directed towards women, but there has also been an increase in stalking behavior towards women. It is really shocking to read that a sexual assault occurs about every 2 minutes, a rape every 8 minutes, and that approximately 56 women are victimized in some way by an intimate partner every hour. To know that 1 in 3 women in the world is beaten, coerced into sex, and otherwise abused really opened by eyes to the immensity of a problem. It makes me think that if it is not me, it is (or is going to be) one of my very close friends throughout my life time.
I know that rape and violence are very real and very common threats to women, but to hear how often they happen in marriages is truly shocking. Of all sexual assault cases, 10 percent of them involve assault towards a women by a husband or an ex-husband and 10 to 14 percent of married women in the United States alone have been raped by their husbands. To know that this is occurring today between married couples makes it difficult to even think of how that statistic may have been different 50 or 60 years ago when the women in a marriage was totally dependent on her husband and divorce was almost impossible to carry out. Not only does rape occur in too many marriages, women who are raped by their husbands are likely to be raped repeatedly. Because marriage is such an intimate institution where the two people generally love and trust each other, it probably makes it that much more difficult for the woman to report it or even walk away from her abuser.
It just seems strange to me that with how common violence against women is, how come more isn’t being done? How come when women report rape, there is a ridiculously low conviction rate? Not only does that help the rape victims feel discouraged and partly to blame for their attack, but the rapist gets away. With the current cycle we are in, how is it ever going to stop?