You’ve reached the activism portion of today’s show. Now that you’re informed and angry, here’s what you can do about it. Today’s activism: Tell Congress to Protect Funding that Supports Victims of Sexual Violence and Helps Catch Rapists.
The first round of rape accusations were leveled at Bill Cosby a decade ago. But thanks to a culture that counts one man’s word and carefully crafted reputation more heavily than the collective experiences of fourteen women, that reputation is just now taking an actual hit. Remarkably, some people still refuse to believe any of the now 35 women publicly on the record, their stories told together in New York Magazine last month.
This unwillingness to believe survivors is not the only reason 97% of rapists will never see so much as a day in jail. Centuries shrugging off a crime that disproportionately affects women, transgender and gender nonconforming people has lead to a massive backlog of untested rape kits. Untested evidence allows serial offenders to continue unabated because those victims who wish to report don’t have access to the other connected reports that bolster their cases.
Some research pins the percentage of sexual assaults just on college campuses that are committed by serial offenders as high as 90. Getting kits tested — even those where the statute of limitations has expired — is crucial.
RAINN — the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network — has an action for the current federal budget season. The “Top Priorities in Congress” section of the RAINN.org “Policy” tab lists protecting funding that supports victims of sexual violence as the fastest, most important way you can get involved with helping survivors. Using the simple script and sample posts provided, you can email, call, and/or Tweet your Representative and Senators and ask them to support funding that helps survivors and holds perpetrators accountable.
The federal budget is being appropriated right now and every day the backlog of untested kits grows.
As the RAINN script says, "Every two minutes, another American is sexually assaulted. More than half of these crimes are never reported to police, and 97% of rapists will never spend a day in jail. We can, and must, do better.”
Email, tweet, call your representatives from: "Tell Congress to Protect Funding that Supports Victims of Sexual Violence and Helps Catch Rapists”
"‘I’m No Longer Afraid’: 35 Women Tell Their Stories About Being Assaulted by Bill Cosby, and the Culture That Wouldn’t Listen” by Noreen Malone at NY Mag’s ‘The Cut’
"Who Will We Choose to See? Bill Cosby and Believing Survivors” by Tọ́pẹ́ Fádìran at RH Reality Check
"The Empty Chair & 35 Women Standing Up to Bill Cosby, Rapist” by Roxane Gay at The Toast
"Serial rapists commit 9 of 10 campus sexual assaults, research finds” at AlJazeera America
Hear the segment in context:
Episode #944 "On Cosby and consent (Rape Culture) "
Written by BOTL social media/activism director Katie Klabusich
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