I know this seems like a bizarre subject to bring up out of the blue, but I heard an article on the radio about ten days ago that’s been quietly tumbling around my thoughts in an entirely negative way ever since. It’s taken me until now to approach it in a manner that doesn’t involve my being infuriated.
The newscaster was reporting on the increase in the number of rapes that are reported, an increase of 26% I believe. I heard this same news report several times throughout the day and I thought the wording was appalling. Some top spod in the Police had obviously made a statement regarding the statistics and the newscaster cheerfully stated again and again (and I quote) “…blames the increase in reporting on the Savile effect…”
He BLAMES the increase in reporting… I was both shocked and deeply disturbed at such ridiculously insensitive wording because I think it says a lot about the general state of westernised culture at the moment. The fact that a news report can get through however many writers and editors before actually making it out to broadcast without anyone thinking to change that word is frightening.
How can it ever be bad for a victim of a crime to feel empowered enough to report it as a result of seeing they are not alone? Is it any wonder that so many choose not to report it when, in reporting, they are already swimming against a tide of victim blame?
The concept of ‘Rape Culture’ has been in and out of the news and drifting through various online networks a lot over the last year or so. I’ve read some really fascinating articles on it and would recommend that anyone reading this takes a few minutes to make themselves acquainted loosely with the term. I’m not going to go into it now because it’s a widespread and complex issue that I almost certainly wouldn’t do justice to.
I just thought it was a sad and shocking reminder that, even in this day and age, we clearly live in a society that is, if not rape culture, certainly still rape tolerant. It needs to change.