NO Means NO | Teen Ink

NO Means NO MAG

October 19, 2017
By SomeArtist BRONZE, Paragould, Arkansas
SomeArtist BRONZE, Paragould, Arkansas
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

We have all heard our mothers, fathers, or guardians say, “No means no.” But when does “no” lose its meaning? When does this word escape others’ ears and vanish into thin air? And why?

Studies show one in five women and one in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives. Yet out of every 1000 of these cases, 994 rapists walk free. This number affects women and men all over the world. It’s time we face the facts and start giving these criminals what they deserve.

There are so many ways that victims are blamed and rape is justified. One of the most used excuses for rape is, “Well, look what she/he was wearing!” This argument has made its way from courtrooms to the Internet to casual conversation. Women and men should be able to wear, and live, how they want, and not have the fear of being ridiculed or assaulted.

If rape was based on how much skin was showing, the numbers would double during warmer seasons.

But they don’t.

If rape was based on how late someone was out, rape would only happen at night.

But it doesn’t.

If rape was based on how much someone was drinking, only drunken people would be raped.

But they aren’t.

If rape was based on how promiscuous a victim is, virgins wouldn’t be raped.

But they are.

If rape was about how developed or “mature” someone’s body is, only adults would be raped.

But they aren’t.

Perhaps I am too dull to wrap my head around the things people blame rape victims for, and how they go out of their way to comfort the rapist. To tell them it’s alright, it was a mistake. But it isn’t. Rapists and assaulters should be locked up with no further questions if they are found guilty.

I was told in school that I need to present both the negative and positive sides of my argument, but I simply cannot. I was told that my essay wouldn’t be recognized because of the subject. But I will make my voice heard. Rape and sexual assault happens every day, every hour, and it affects too many people to stay silent. I’m not the only one who knows it is time to fix this.

Many victims are too afraid to ask for help. They feel shame or feel that no one can help. If one of those people is you, please reach out – to a counselor, a teacher, or a trusted adult. They can help.

Fifteen percent of children between the ages of 12 and 17 are raped. Fifty-four percent of rapes happen to adults between the ages of 18 and 34. Young women are especially at risk. Real enough yet? Females aged 16 to 19 years are four times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault. Female college students are three times more likely than women in general to experience sexual violence.

We cannot ignore, however, that males are victims too. One in 33 men has been raped or sexually assaulted. One out of every 10 rape victims is male. Furthermore, 21 percent of TGQN (transgender, genderqueer, non conforming) college students have been sexually assaulted.

It’s time to stand against this and help those who have already been affected. If you are a victim and have no one to go to, call one of the hotlines below.

Help can begin with a call.

Because “No” means “No.”

1-800-656-4673
National Sexual Assault Hotline
Available 24 hours a day

1-800-799-SAFE
National Domestic Violence Hotline

1-800-422-4453
National Child Abuse Hotline


The author's comments:

This was inspired by journalism as well as other experiences. It needs to be talked about, and I hope this reaches out to those who need it.


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