THE BLOG

#RapeCultureIsWhen This Happens: Sexual Violence, Social Media and Prevention Measures

31/10/2014 11:40 GMT | Updated 30/12/2014 10:59 GMT

Picture this: so here I am, casually scrolling through my Twitter and catching up on whatever may have been going on online that day. We've got some bible quotes, we've got some celeb news and, wait for it:

'#RapeCultureIsWhen there is such a thing as being 'too touchy' about rape'.

Let's take a minute, shall we?

Or shall we discuss how disgusting it is that this, in 2014, is still something that needs to be brought to the attention of the majority. Why do we need a hash-tag on twitter to remind us that we live within a society that has accepted a so called 'rape culture' as the norm and don't even seem to be fazed by such things as these cropping up all over social media?

I've studied English. I understand which words make people feel and think a certain way. And the use of the phrase 'rape culture is when' not only belittles victims themselves, but makes the ordinary man feel like rape culture is something normal, acceptable, and expected. Lets be a little controversial here: it's not.

Do we really want to live in a day and age where rape is not shocking, its not terrible and its something that happens perhaps all too often to provoke any kind of reaction anymore? Do we want survivors to feel like what has happened to them is normal and ordinary and they have no right to feel violated in any way?

Is it really acceptable that these are the kinds of things I have to read on my twitter newsfeed at 7.30pm of an evening?

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Rape culture is when a hash tag on social media is considered to be enough of a stand against rape. And that's disgusting.

So how about this: next time you feel like jumping onto twitter and using that as a platform to raise awareness about the continuing existence of a culture that makes rape look acceptable; we could maybe consider more of an action towards prevention.

Rape Crisis are an organisation which are constantly building centres across England and Wales to aid men, women, boys and girls who have been raped and need a safe place to go; as well as having a free helpline and online information accessible to all. They are campaigning to raise awareness against sexual violence, and require donations to do so.

Instead of using a hash tag to discuss sexual violence, consider using the internet for something else entirely: donating to an organisation which will actually do something about it. Instead of making rape culture something negative and frequently occurring, make it when we all work together to help survivors and prevent rape altogether. Let's be counter-cultural.

Visit www.rapecrisis.org.uk for more information and to donate.