“They raped her quicker than Mike Tyson!,” said Michael Nodianos, during a leaked video of drunk high school athletes verbally harassing a passed-out 16-year-old girl in Steubenville, Ohio. A dark cloud is hovering over the small town of Steubenville, where two proclaimed football athletes have been accused of raping a 16-year-old girl while unconscious.
Meanwhile, in New Delhi, India, a 23-year-old student named Jyoti Sign Pandey was gang-raped and beaten by six men on a New Delhi public bus. And even as Pandey was thrown out of the bus completely naked, local residents and bystanders failed to help or clothe her as she bled from her severe injuries.
“My daughter didn’t do anything wrong,” says the father of Pandey. He is correct, rape victims do not do anything wrong. But many victims of rape believe that it is their fault for being put into that situation while others believe that rape victims were simply ‘asking for it.’ Whether in Ohio or India, women and girls should not feel vulnerable or scared when leaving their homes. Rape victims should not feel guilty for the style of clothing they wear or the time of night they are out.
This tolerance for rape culture and the mistreatment of women must end. An international effort to end violence against women is necessary to make sure that such crimes will not persist.
On January 1st in New Delhi, a protest began and urged people to open their eyes on violence against women. “Don’t teach me what to wear, teach men not to rape” was yelled, written, read and heard throughout the streets of New Delhi, encouraging citizens to become aware. To become aware of the gender imbalances our society has to face, aware of women who have been victimized and most importantly, aware of the challenges that we must overcome in order to solve this oppression.