I'm getting pretty tired of explaining to people why rape jokes aren't funny. Instead, I have begun asking the perpetrators of such jokes why they think the jokes are funny. Desperately, I seek humour in punchlines about holding a knife to a woman's throat, about binding her with rope, about "raping that bitch".
Sexual violence is a specifically reprehensible form of violence, and includes rape and any other attack of a sexual nature perpetuated against both males and females. Its repercussions can be iniquitous, and may include acute and physical repercussions for survivors and witnesses. Human trafficking can also lead to sexual violence, and I will be discussing the issue of 'modern slavery' in this article. I will also highlight the brutal effects of sexual violence in conflict.
If I had the urge to publicly accuse this man, I'd have to question myself and my motives. The only one I can think of is if I was stuck in a victim mindset and sought revenge. Thankfully I'm not. Behaving like a victim disenfranchises you, steals your integrity and keeps you stuck. Yes, they were responsible for what happened then but I am responsible for myself now.
As women-only carriages spread through public transport systems in Brazil, Thailand, India and Japan... it looks like the preventative, victim-blaming measure may be heading to the UK. According to transport minister Claire Perry MP, focusing energies on removing the victim from the situation rather than addressing the offender is the way to go when tackling sexual assault.
One of the few positive things to come out of the DLT case is that it should now be widely understood that to grab or seize someone in any physical way under the guise of humour or playfulness is completely unacceptable. And it should be understood that this behaviour is the first rung on the ladder of sexual assault.
In a practical sense, no single remedy can address this endemic issue. Instead a range of solutions, constituting a holistic approach, are required. Firstly, a truly independent inquiry should be commissioned - one which is not led by any of the institutions implicated in the case, and further not implemented by a high profile man or men.
Sex is fantastic, don't get me wrong, but the very reason sex is sought after and enjoyed by so many is because of the exhilaration of self validation that goes along with the knowledge that someone is attracted to you in the same way you are to them... consent is hot. To coerce, force yourself on someone, or drug them just so you can have your way with them is an awful thing for anybody to do.
Sexual assault, peer pressure and female objectification are far from humorous. Satire isn't satire when it's kicking down another group. It only creates a bad perspective for incoming students of student life and a bad image of current students, implying this is what everyone's freshers was like and therefore yours should be too.
As she said no over and over again, he just laughed and forced himself into her. She cried, but tears made no difference to him. She lost. After she was raped, she didn't tell anyone because she wasn't completely sure it was rape... Only years later did she realise that even girlfriends and wives can be raped, because if it takes force, it's not consensual.
This week, the evolutionary scientist Richard Dawkins tweeted this to nearly one million followers: "Date rape is bad. Stranger rape at knifepoint is worse. If you think that's an endorsement of date rape, go away and learn how to think." Before that, he had tweeted: "X is bad. Y is worse. If you think that's an endorsement of X, go away and don't come back until you've learned how to think logically."Interesting for me, because - there's no subtle way to say this - I know exactly what it's like to be raped with knives involved.