rapes happen daily
1 out of 10
9 out of 10
Women in the Philippines from age 15 to 49 have experienced sexual violence and/or abuse
Rapes go unreported in the Philippines
What is rape culture?
How does it affect the underreporting of rape?
Rape culture refers to the normalization of rape due to societal attitudes towards gender, sex, and sexuality. It is a culture of victim-blaming and slut-shaming as well as sexual objectification and trivialization. It is a culture of denial in more ways than one.
Rape culture is made up of customs, ideas, and institutions that influence the development of acceptance of violence. It is made up of closely related societal phenomena such as objectification, and misogyny. It’s a culture of desensitization through movies, video, games, advertisements, and faulty reporting among other things.
One especially common and vile form of rape culture is victim-blaming.
Rape Culture in
Rape Culture in the Ateneo
What can I do about it?
Call out anyone guilty of victim-blaming and challenge their statements
Do not tolerate excuses from abusers as to why they abuse/abused
Do not condemn survivors for their experiences
Avoid victim-blaming in your language and actions
Start discourse regarding the matter
Spread awareness to other people
You can start on that last step by sharing news, opinions, and information regarding rape culture and victim-blaming with the hashtag #SheIsFaultless.
A study published in Psychology of Women Quarterly states that victim-blaming is definitely a major factor in the underreporting of rape. Victims are said to avoid coming forward in order for them to avoid what is known as “secondary victimization.” This “second victimization” is much more psychological and emotional as compared to the physicality of actual rape – this is the pain caused by words and reactions of the people surrounding the victim. This is especially true for acquaintance rape – the most common kind of rape there is.
At the same time, the culture of victim-blaming that society has developed has formed a shameful stigma.
If one were to peruse the comments sections of local news sites’ rape-related articles, one would find at least one comment that blames the woman for her own sexual assault. No time for that? That’s okay because in this country, there are a lot of other ways to spot victim-blaming. Listen to mothers talking to their daughters before a night out, listen to the elderly people tsk and tut as a scantily clad girl walks by, listen to the men and boys catcall female commuters regardless of what they wear, look at mindless posts that mock rape made by influential people on social media – pay just a bit more attention and it won’t be too hard to find rape culture thriving in this conservative country.
The following are a few acts of rape culture that can be found within the Ateneo community according to answers from three different sets of focus group discussions (FGDs):
Inumerable posts in the Ateneo de Manila Secret Files about the way girls dress and the sheer number of people that 'like' these posts
Male members of the community rating females that pass by along prominent walkways in school; beyond rating physical appearances, they also tend to make lascivious remarks
Small remarks and jokes (ie, "borapix, alam na this," "free for all siya," "bigyan na yan," "'wag po," etc.) in daily conversations
Aside from these general acts, many personal experiences were shared during the FGDs.