The expanding presence of feminist movements is a demonstration of how the increasing use of social media has aided in the initiation of conversations, particularly among the younger generation (Jackson, 2018). Despite the fact that social media platforms were designed to be used for communication, activists all over the world have found ways to utilize these platforms to raise awareness about important social concerns (Keller, 2019). In the case of sexual assault, this is an example of a social problem that has caused suffering for a large number of women around the globe (Mendes et al., 2018). Many sexual abuse survivors report difficulty in obtaining services such as police intervention, therapy, and counselling because of the stigma associated with seeking help. Consequently, since there is no accessible treatment, some victims of sexual abuse opt to suffer in silence rather than seek aid elsewhere.
In addition, sexual exploitation is a problem that has become more prevalent as a result of the expansion of the internet (Flores et al., 2018). Nowadays, types of sexual exploitation include the use of internet platforms to anonymously sexualize women by revealing sensitive information about them or making disparaging comments about their physical appearance or behavior. Creating safe venues where women can discuss gender-based concerns and devise actions to solve the problems is at the forefront of feminist groups’ agendas. In order to combat the sexualization of women and the sexual and non-sexual violence that affects women in society, digital venues such as social media platforms are critical in assisting feminist groups to launch anti-rape debates and garner support.
- To present an accurate description of anti-rape feminist movements and a short historical history on their formation.
- Identifying the justifications for why anti-rape movements are important.
- Examine the anti-rape feminist movements that are active in the modern world.
- Determine the roles played by social media networks in regard to anti-rape feminist movements in order to make recommendations.
- To determine the advantages of using social media platforms to promote anti-feminist movements.
- To investigate the usefulness of social media platforms as instruments for anti-rape feminist campaigns is being conducted.
During the past several years, the criminal definition of rape and the societal reactions to it have undergone significant transformation. Violence against women, the willingness of victims of rape to seek justice through the criminal justice, the rules of prosecutors, and the punishments meted out to those deemed guilty have all been the explicit topics of public debates that were sparked in the early 1970s by activists who broke the silence that had prevailed for decades (Ake & Arnold, 2017). Established to stop the violence and abuse against women, the anti-rape movement is a social movement that advocates for their rights (Ake & Arnold, 2017). Specifically, the movement seeks to modify community attitudes on violence against women, such as entitlement to sex and victim blaming, and also women’s perceptions of violence against themselves (Ake & Arnold, 2017).
Moreover, it aspires to see improvements in rape laws and evidence rules that make it much more difficult to punish those who commit crimes against women. It also aims to rectify the propensity for victims to be deterred from disclosing sexual assaults by providing them with resources. Since the inception of the anti-rape movement, education has played a significant role in the prevention and treatment of sexual assault and violence. The emphasis of its inception was on increasing awareness about the frequency and effect on women of rape, as well as bringing the voices of survivors to the forefront and highlighting the need for specialized support (Ake & Arnold, 2017). Following its emergence to address an overlooked issue or constituency, the anti-rape movement succeeds in mobilizing support while seeking to solve a variety of issues; conventional political systems take up and respond to a certain portion of the movement’s demands; and the movement eventually fades away. The ground on which social movements operate changes as they attempt to alter the environment in which they operate.
The state of rape crisis in society is justification enough for the need of feminist anti rape movements. Rape as well as other sexual abuse statistics are widely accessible in developed nations, and they are becoming better recorded in other parts of the globe as time goes on. As previously stated, varied definitions of rape, as well as discrepancies in the rates of reporting, documenting, prosecution, and conviction for rape, result in contentious statistical disparities, prompting charges why most rape statistics are incorrect or deceptive. Women aged 15 and older have been sexually abused outside of personal relationships an estimated 4.7 million times since the age of 15, accounting for 30% of all women in Canada (Sexual Assault and Harassment in Canada 2022). For every 1,000 persons aged 15 and older in Canada, there were 22 occurrences of sexual assault recorded to the authorities (Sexual Assault and Harassment in Canada 2022). Everyone, irrespective of gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, educational level, or physical description, is a potential victim of some kind. According to the statistics, one out of every seventeen Canadian women will be raped at some time in her life.
The Canadian government estimates that a woman is sexually abused by forced intercourse every 17 minutes. Girls and young women in between 15 and 24 years old are the most probable victims of sexual assault and harassment (Sexual Assault and Harassment in Canada 2022). 80 percent of attacks take place in the victim’s home, and 70 percent of rapes are carried out by a perpetrator who is familiar with the victims (Sexual Assault and Harassment in Canada 2022). On average, one-half of all rapes take place on a Friday or Saturday night. 62 percent of victims are physically hurt in the assault; 9 percent are badly battered or disfigured as a result of the incident (Sexual Assault and Harassment in Canada 2022). According to Sexual Assault and Harassment in Canada (2022) statistics in Canada show that one in every four girls and one in every eight males had been sexually assaulted by the time they reach eighteen years old.
When rape victims interact with systems such as law enforcement, medical, and mental health institutions, they are subjected to a considerable level of stress (Campbell, 2013). As a result, there is an increase in public knowledge of sexual assault, which is a big and beneficial success. In conjunction with the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, neighborhood sexual assault centers have seen a considerable increase in the number of calls and requests for assistance. More and more individuals are speaking out about sexual assault, and more and more individuals are declaring themselves as survivors of sexual abuse.
In today’s contemporary world, the anti-rape movement establishes rape crisis centers, which strive to exert influence in their local areas via advocacy (Fitzpatrick, 2018). These centers strive to establish relationships with individuals from all walks of life and to make their services available to the general public as well as to certain minority groups who may be at greater risk of facing difficulties in obtaining medical and other fundamental necessities. Rape crisis centers provide education and outreach programs, as well as seminars, to the general public, with the goal of reducing the likelihood of sexual assault happening (Fitzpatrick, 2018). They tailor their training and activities to schools and community organizations as well as churches and clubs, and they aim to raise awareness about the prevalence of sexual abuse, how to identify it, what assertive steps can be taken to reduce one’s chances of experiencing it, as well as knowing about community resources and alternatives in the circumstance that one is a victim of sexual assault.
Through feminist anti rape movements, children, adolescents, and adults are targeted via educational outreach programs that are tailored to their needs. Rape crisis centers conduct activities to raise awareness and empower survivors of sexual assault, as well as others who are concerned with sexual assault prevention in general (Fitzpatrick, 2018). Through these a variety of events, creativity and the arts are utilized as an effective technique of raising local awareness and advocacy. One fallacy that rape crisis centers strive to dispel is the notion that rape and sexual assault are exclusively a female problem (Fitzpatrick, 2018). In reaction to a social assumption that rape was mostly committed against female victims, institutions such as rape crisis centers developed programs that focused on the fact that males were disproportionately responsible for the crime of rape in their communities. Such organizations strive to transform the male attitude into one that recognizes their ability to prevent rape.
Social media platforms are crucial parts in the development of feminist anti rape movements. Social media channels, as well as social media advocacy against sexual abuse, have increased exponentially in recent years. Following the escalation of the #MeToo Movement in 2017, the formation of several more worldwide initiatives against sexual assault, including the #MeToo Movement, has been attributed to this trend (Loney-Howes 2020). It’s true that 2017 is now widely recognized as a landmark year, when multitudes of women across the globe declared #TimesUp against sexual assault of any type, especially where the violence was not only rooted in patriarchal authority, but was also shielded from scrutiny by that power (Loney-Howes 2020). More and more women are joining the fight against sexual abuse, and social media platforms are being used to provide support, amplification, and empowerment. Conversations regarding sexual abuse now have a worldwide reach thanks to social media platforms. Among the many resources available are lists of abusers, editorials and reporting on sexual assault, and hashtags, such as #METOO, #TimesUp, #Losha, #WhyIDidn’tReport, and #NiUnaMenos, among others (Loney-Howes 2020).
Social media platforms and internet have provided a safe environment for persons who have been victims of sexual assault to express themselves and share their traumatic experiences all over the globe. In certain circumstances, women have utilized social media to publicize their stories, bringing them to the attention of the general public and, in some instances, leading to legal action, but with variable outcomes. International feminist activists have long relied on internet venues to organize feminist movements on a global scale. Collaboration on activism among women from a variety of backgrounds has been made possible by cyber feminism.
There are several benefits to using social media platforms to promote feminist anti rape movements such as awareness is being shared at a faster rate. These platforms also lead to the creation of women’s safe places to talk about their rape experiences as a way of showing empathy for rape victims (Flores et al., 2018). There are real-time interventions against rape are a consequence of the creation of legal pressure. Additionally, they create the opportunity for social media users to seek assistance via their social media profiles (Jackson, 2018). By distributing and sharing ideas, attitudes, and information across a wide population or target audience, social media may be used to help shift social norms around sexual harassment and sexual violence, such as in schools. Social media may also help to make the voices of survivors and reformed offenders more visible and accessible to the public (Jackson, 2018). It has the potential to provide safer venues for people to tell their experiences and participate in debates about social behavior and rules that support or enable sexual abuse. social media platforms are also beneficial in that they act a s a place for recovering offenders to gain beneficial viewpoints from other reformed or recovering perpetrators’ stories and steps in speaking out against violence, social media has the potential to be a powerful tool in the prevention of sexual violence.
In light of the ongoing usage of social media to provide possibilities for people whose lives have been damaged by sexual assault to safely speak out, it is necessary to evaluate ways to broaden access to include mainstream and underserved populations, respectively. It is possible that social media will allow for increased availability of safe spaces in mainstream media and perception for survivors of sexual assault, including boys and men, LGBT-identified victims of sexual assault, elderly victims of sexual assault, female perpetrators, and others who have faced numerous barriers to being heard in conventional media (Flores et al., 2018). A more global and linked arena is created by such work via social media, which stimulates dialogues aimed at altering norms and attitudes in order to modify behaviors and so help to avoid the incidence of sexual assault in the first place.
In spite of all the benefits and advantages, social media platforms also face various challenges in the quest to promote feminist anti rape movements. Feminist activists from disadvantaged groups have criticized digital activism, claiming that most online sexual assault advocacy ends up having a foreign orientation and moving away from oppressed populations (Fitzpatrick, 2018). Despite the fact that cyber feminism has made it possible for women from all over the world to collaborate on activism, one recurring critique has been that feminist digital activism is often perceived to be a radical political movement led by Western women (Fitzpatrick, 2018). Moreover, when proponents of women’s rights have been accused of sexual misconduct and assault, there has also been outpouring of dissatisfaction expressed in the form of open letters.
Several anti-rape feminist activists have been the target of frequent online trolling, resulting in social media platforms becoming a disputed terrain of both autonomous space and sexist abuse. Through this issue, we want to discuss the strengths and limits of online social movements against sexual assault in general. Online activism is non-intersectional, it does not take into consideration the worldwide viewpoints of feminist academics and activists through the prism of religions and other social identities such as class, power, culture, and racism. In addition to making sexual violence prevention efforts more inclusive, feminists are working to broaden the discussion on social media platforms. However, there are still far too many people whose experiences have been neglected, their stories tucked away under the identities of ethnic background, class, sex, location and caste, among other intersectional identities (Fitzpatrick, 2018).
The use of social media platforms remains effective in major areas of promoting anti rape movements which are tackling women issues through a social lens and also hastening the speed with which women’s issues are made political. Female victims of abuse have been able to share their stories on social media platforms with other victims, so establishing a forum for the sharing of knowledge and information about their rights, legal procedures, and welfare services, among other things. Through hashtag activism, women’s rights problems have gained more prominence in the media, allowing for more coverage of topics that might otherwise go unnoticed (Sills et al., 2016). Women’s grassroots organizations are increasingly turning to social media to demand for more public responsibility when it comes to achieving gender equality in the workplace. The rape and death of a young lady in Turkey sparked a widespread social media outcry under the hashtags #sendeanlat (speak your tale) and #ozceganaslan (say your story). Large-scale public demonstrations sparked a debate among political and community leaders about the prevalence of violence against women in the nation. Thus, the research identified that social media platforms make a major contribution to the growth of feminist anti rape movements.
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