Rape Culture: How Society Reacts to Rape

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What do you think and feel when you hear the word rape? Do you feel uncomfortable? Maybe even angry? Your certain feelings and emotions towards this word is a result of rape culture. Rape culture, essentially, is how a society as a whole sees and reacts towards rape or instances of rape. In 2013 rape was defined by the FBI as, “Penetration… of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.” (Division’s Crime Statistics Management Unit 1). The definition was finally changed after the old definition deemed inappropriate by today’s standards, which beforehand, stated that physical force needed to be used for rape to be considered rape. This is good news…show more content…
Suddenly, an intoxicated off-duty police officer asked her for directions to the nearest subway, then pulled a gun on her and dragged her into an alleyway, where he violently raped and abused her. After the man, Michael Pena, was caught in the act and arrested, the case was taken to court. The verdict was finally led to 75 years in prison for multiple charges of sexual assault, along with an added 10 years after pleading guilty, in March of 2012 (Lovett 1). Afterwards, though, Cuomo thought the verdict was unfair. Not because she wanted the Pena’s sentence to be longer, but because the charge for “rape” was stricken down since the jury could not decide if she was vaginally penetrated or not. Unfortunately in New York law at the time, rape was only rape when the victim was vaginally penetrated, not anally or orally. Since then, she has shared her story with many news outlets and has also been fighting towards getting the law re-written in the state to include other forms of sexual force, which she has called the “Rape is Rape” bill. So far nothing has been heard from the bill other than that it did pass its first hurdle in the State Assembly by a vote of 105-0 around the Summer of 2013 (Whittle 1). Unfortunately, victims of rape or sexual assault have been known to face mental health problems and risk behaviors that can change them
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