In recent times, there is always some news about a child or adult being sexually assaulted. It is no longer a thing of gender as no gender is spared from the perversion that dwells in the hearts of humans. The question then becomes, is this a recent development or something widespread due to the presence of the Internet in comparison to the past? The answer is no. It is not a recent development, and thanks to the advent of social media, we can talk about these issues with one voice and drive the change we need to see in our society.
Judging from the title of this article, you may wonder if sexual assault is limited or pronounced in the USA alone. It is not synonymous to those in America alone, but quite evident in other parts of the world. Nonetheless, for the sake of this article, we will focus on the USA. We really can not thank the Internet and social media enough for the power it has given our voices and the indispensable role it has and still is playing to uncover the evil perpetuated in our society daily.
Sexual Assault in the USA
In the United States, over four hundred thousand sexual assault cases are recorded each year, and the age demographic is younger people between the ages of 12 to 34. What is even more disturbing is the realization that every day, this demographic seems to be tilting to those younger than the age of 12.
The stark reality that came with the understanding that this illness can be ingrained in anyone is the “aha” moment we all needed to wake us up. We all needed that rude awakening from thinking that only a kind of people with certain backgrounds, races, or orientations can sexually assault others. Time and the advent of sex abuse laws have shown us that the ordinary person on the streets, the politician, the actor, or celebrity, can be a sexual predator. With this awareness, people are becoming more watchful of the inadequacies of others, even down to the so-called celebrities.
1. The Weinstein Effect and The Me Too Movement
One of the most popular sexual assault incidents ever recorded. This trend caused an increase in the reports of sexual assault cases perpetrated by rich and powerful men of society. This was sparked by multiple accusations of sexual assault by Harvey Weinstein against various younger girls and women. This caused a major shift in the conversations around sexual assault, as one testimony gave room to more women stepping up to share their own experiences and push for vindication. By this culmination of voices gave birth to the #MeToo Movement. From whence, other women, especially in the entertainment industry, came out to speak of the sexual assault they experienced in varying degrees.
2. Bill Cosby
When popular thespian Bill Cosby was first arraigned for sexual assault, it came to everyone as a huge shock. This was because of what the public figure ”Bill Cosby” represented. He starred in a family soap opera that held the attention of families from all over the world. Bottom line, Bill the family soap star and Bill, the sexual predator, was a total contrast that is mind-boggling every time we think about it. For someone on a pedestal like Bill Cosby to be found guilty of sexual assault, the USA and the world at large experienced sexual assault for all that it is and can be – clandestine, damaging, and a violation of one’s right.
Uber has come to be a mainstay in the ride-hailing industry, and with its benefits come the pitfalls. Although the company birthed in the early twenties has carved a niche for itself through the need it solves for society; this innovative ride-hailing company helped show that we do have a deep-rooted problem in our hands. According to the words of Tony West, Uber’s Chief Legal Officer, “What it says is that Uber is a reflection of the society it serves.” As with the cases of drivers who sexually assault riders, especially female ones, this mainstream company inadvertently helped put the rate of sexual assaults in the USA on the map.
As unfortunate as this may sound, all thanks to these incidents and more, the awareness of sexual assaults in the USA became more than an individual’s nightmare. It has become a very driven topic that all genders are joining hands to fight. Do we still have sexual predators in the USA? Of course, but are we better equipped for the fight? Totally!