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How should Feminist battle Sexual Abuse?

1 in 3 women experience sexual abuse while alone or in a group of females. he harassment can be verbal or even extreme, where men block paths of women hoping for some sort of interaction. 

Not every harassment stops when a woman does not respond. This spectrum is broad and it nurtures the potential for becoming more violent with sexual abuse which is widely known as rape or molestation. 

The sexual abuse statistics from all around the world are high at an alarming rate. According to a world bank report, violence against women and girls is a global pandemic that affects 1 out of 3 women in their lifetime. Statistics state, 35% of women have faced physical or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence. Amongst the staggering statistics portraying sexual abuse, 7% of the women around the globe are sexually assaulted by men. 

The issue of sexual abuse is catastrophic for the survivors and affects the countries and their economies to a large extent.

Has the Abuse Culture been Normalized?

We cannot name thousands of women who have fallen prey to immoral acts. Their stories are explained by a rising line on the graph. This expressed in percentages, is given as education to young girls while asking them to safeguard themselves.

Why are women the colossal majority of victims of sexual assault? Why are men the overwhelming majority of perpetrators of sexual assault? The reason why sexual assault in women occurs in massive proportions is the society, has to some extent contributed to normalizing sexual violence. 

The factors that have an influence on sexual violence, include social and economic class, race, age, gender, the legal system of the country you live in, and much more. 

Rape and abuse culture starts to get normalized the second judgemental comments are passed on women wearing short clothes or a lot of makeup. We assume they want attention immediately. It is high time to end such irrational arguments to shift the focus to rational thoughts. It is only then people will ask, “Why did a sexual assault happen in the first place?” rather than, “Why was she wearing such provocative clothes to draw attention to herself?” 

Feminism against sexual abuse

Feminist culture has quite negative connotations in countries of South Asia, including Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and Nepal. Feminism refers to the set of movements that aim to establish and defend the rights of women. 

Sexual assault or violence of any kind against women is about power. We live in a society where catcalling is funny. If a woman gets assaulted, she gets bombarded with accusable questions, “Why was she wearing such clothes?” or “why was she traveling alone?” Feminism today is about demolishing this culture and mindset. 

Many people think feminism is all about women. In reality, it protects the rights of women by normalizing gender equality. Gender equality means no gender has power over the other. The power of superiority in men is the same power that allows them to feel unashamed for heinous acts such as sexual abuse. It enables them to have the courage of groping and grabbing women in public while women feel helpless.

Change brought by Feminism

If you think gender equality can help reduce cases of sexual violence, it can! It can be achieved through education. It is educating the minds of young boys, teenagers, and grown men regarding such sensitive matters. 

Not long ago, sexual assault was only considered to be rape. It was feminism that outraged against this and demanded to classify other forms of violence like sexual assault. Feminists are the ones who have recognized that toxic masculinity and victim-blaming are the two prominent features of rape culture. Those were feminists who urged sexual assault survivors to come forward and talk about their experiences.

Without feminism, rape culture would never be explored so thoroughly. If feminism were not there, all those tiny instances of sexism and discrimination would never have been considered contributing factors to rape culture. 

Through feminism, we got to know that there is a need for conversation. It is precisely the conversation that means that you acknowledge something is wrong.

How can Women Deal With it on a Personal Level?

It is high time women start being prepared for such situations beforehand. Right now, there is a need to educate men about consent and women about the worst possible outcomes they can face. 

Apart from being robust, women need to be prepared for such situations every time. Women need to establish zero-tolerance policies against violence and abuse of any kind in the places where they live, work, and play. 

If you have children, teach them the skills to prevent sexual abuse. You should 

  • Talk about body parts early 
  • Teach them about the private body parts 
  • Tell them that body secret is not okay 
  • Be friendly with them so that they share everything with you 

Women should always keep a pocket knife, pepper spray, or taser with them to deal with such uncomfortable situations. To help keep yourself safe on a budget, here is how you can make pepper spray at home.

Take ¼ cup oil and ¼ cup water. The oil helps the chili in sticking and not flowing away smoothly.

Add in 2 tbsp crushed red chili flakes and 1 tbsp red chili powder. 

Heat it and cook on low flame for 4-5 minutes, stirring constantly. 

Let it cool down.Add the mixture in a spray bottle with a funnel and it is ready to use. 

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