#WhyIDidn’tReport: Yes, Colour Matters In Sexual Assault Cases

— Trigger and Content Warning —

Like with the “Friendship Breakup” series, over the next few weeks, I’ll be answering commonly asked questions surrounding, specifically, Dr Ford and the entire fiasco that we just watched. 

As this topic is of a sensitive nature, and many of you may have questions or stories you’d like to share or have answered, please feel free to drop a message in my Facebook inbox or DM me on my Instagram, @thingscarlaloves. You do not have to share your story in the comment section (or anywhere else) if you do not feel comfortable. 

As always, there will be a list of helpline services added, if you need help. I strongly urge that you confide in someone you trust in order to help you heal. 

I know there’s a lot of ya’ll who like to pretend like things like white privilege don’t exist, but for those of us living in the real world, we at least understand the basic concept of racism, so while a person might not understand the full extent of white privilege, they do understand the concept of a deep, imbedded racial injustice.

For those that don’t quite understand, I will give a brief explanation, but I’d recommend following Rae over at Bookmark Chronicles, or reading Small Great Things by Jodi Piccoult or The Hate U Give, which is both a novel and a movie (for those that might have a preference).

I think that before understanding white privilege, you need to understand not only the extent and damage past racism has done, nor how the past has forced a systematic racist abuse structure to keep people of colour in lower positions, but you have to accept that racism isn’t dead and buried because we gave Aboriginal people the right to vote in 1965. (For Americans, I’d like to remind you Martin Luther King was extremely unpopular at the time of his assassination, and a large reason for that was because the American government worked incredibly hard to destroy King’s credibility and reputation, which is not a conspiracy theory. However, following the world’s reaction to King’s murder, the story was rewritten, like stories with legends and heroes and martyrs often are. After all, Joan of Arc – and others of her ilk – only become saints because they suffered terribly, usually in some torturous manner of death. Like with the English who had captured Joan of Arc, they needed to destroy her reputation before they could burn a young woman, who had seemingly done nothing but heroics for France in the name of God – something that the American government would try and repeat. Fortunately, it had the same effect as Joan of Arc, and Martin Luther King’s name didn’t disappear into obscurity, no matter how much the rich white men wanted it to.)

The sad truth is that colour matters in every aspect, and as many Black women have pointed out, racism is intrinsically tied to sexism.

Don’t believe me?

How about during Hurricane Katrina, the exact same media source printed a photo depicting the bravery of the white people “searching for food”, they depicted a Black man doing the exact same thing, except his caption alleged he was “looting”?

Photo Credit: Snopes

Or the comparison of Brock Turner’s professional year book photo to an innocent Black teen’s photo, of him wearing a hoodie (and thus implying something more sinister and if I have to explain how that makes someone look bad, I’d like to point out that my year 7’s and 8’s would be able to answer this question, so think real hard before you try and call bullshit) after he’d been murdered by a cop?

Image result for brock turner vs black victim hoodie

Photo Credit: CBC

What about all the women of colour who were impacted by the #MeToo but were ignored, like the founder, whose name seems all but forgotten (her name is Tarana Burke, in case you don’t know)?

Or Lupita Nyong’o, one of the few women Weinstein adamantly denied sexually assaulting … who is black, in case ya’ll a living in the 18th century and don’t know who she is (she’s a famous actress)?

Perhaps you want to dismiss those cases, because you’ll state that they’re anecdotal, or it just happens sometimes, or I’m biased or being deliberately selective to be divisive or some other conservative bullshit you wanna concoct to help justify your backwards, racist, prejudiced bigoted bullshit), so let’s discuss some facts you can’t deny or explain away.

(Not that that challenge has ever stopped Trump supporters.)

FACT ONE:

Only 1 in every 16 African-American will report a sexual assault.

FACT TWO:

Most Asian women don’t report domestic violence or sexual assault due to traditional cultural values.

FACT THREE:

40% of Black women will report a sexual assault by 18 while 7.9% of Latinas will report being raped by a partner or ex in their lifetime.

FACT FOUR:

Native American women have a 70% higher chance than other women than being sexually assaulted or abused by a non-Native American.

FACT FIVE:

Women of colour have been routinely raped by white men as an effort to eradicate colour and further oppress people of colour. In Australia, children who weren’t considered to be “full blood” by the Government were frequently forcibly removed from their Aboriginal relatives and sent to live in missionaries until 1970.

FACT SIX:

Despite the fact that some children were taken from their families up until 1970, and many Aboriginal families have never been able to reconcile and have thus become referred to as “The Stolen Generation”, most Australians were furious when Kevin Rudd apologised to Aboriginal people on behalf of the atrocities committed by our not-that-dead ancestors in 2008.

FACT SEVEN:

Despite the fact that many white Americans talk about “how slavery ended ages ago”, the Ku Klux Klan were notorious for raping Black women and not being arrested (or even investigated) in an attempt to continue suppressing people of colour.

FACT EIGHT:

Young gay men of colour are far more likely to be infected with HIV.

FACT NINE:

53% of LGBTQIA+ people of colour are victims of hate crimes. The majority of these victims are trans women of colour.

FACT TEN:

32% of Black transgender people are sexually assaulted in police custody and/or prison.

That’s just ten randomly drawn facts.

Just ten.

They are indisputable, undeniable facts.

Facts that you can Google and check yourself.

Facts that will be linked to sources below.

Facts that aren’t, and can’t possibly be, manipulated for my purposes.

And the facts say that yes, colour really fucking matters when it comes to sexual assault.

It matters because, in your ignorance to say that you are ‘blind to colour’ and you ‘love the human race’, you’re forgetting that the people in power, the people in charge, aren’t ‘blind to colour’.

And they are deliberately refusing to prosecute people – especially white people – who commit sexual assault crimes against people of colour.

Don’t pretend like that’s not a real fucking problem.

In Emergencies: 000

Lifeline Australia: 13 11 14

1800 RESPECT

MensLine Australia: 1300 78 99 78

Have a question? Need some advice? Leave a comment or send me a question!

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— Sources —

Background

Bachelor of Education: English and History

Diploma in Criminology and Profiling

Diploma in Forensic Science

Background in law and psychology

Teacher 7+ years

Background in special needs, learning support – other specific teaching fields that required hands-on development.

NB: This is a declaration of the background of my personal knowledge, collected over the years via a professional form of education and development. Some of these take the form of actual degrees and others come in the form of necessary professional development. When doing your own, you should always try and verify the person’s credibility. My credibility, nor anyone else’s, is not with their education. Everyone has biases and no one is infallible. I am deliberately including some of my background education to highlight this, because you should be questioning information you are receiving.

External Sources

An Unbelievable Story of Rape 

A False Report

Why Rape Victims Change Stories

Audrie & Daisy

The Hunting Ground

You Know You Want It

Inconsistencies in Rape Statements

Rape Allegations

False Reports Are Dangerous

The Truth About False Rape Allegations

Being Silenced: Negative Consequences for Rape Victims Who Speak Out

Sexual Assault Victims Lying

I Was The ‘Perfect’ Rape Victim

Sexual Harassment of Women of Colour

Women of Colour and Sexual Assault

Survivor of Colour Prevalence Rates

Many Women Of Colour Don’t Report

Black Women Not Good Enough

How Police Caught The Cop Who Allegedly Sexually Abused Black Women

Women of Colour Infographs and Facts

#MeToo Is Different For Women of Colour

#MeToo Ignoring Founder Tarana Burke

Me Too: The Beginning

Kevin Rudd Apology Speech

Colour and Sexual Assault

Black People Loot

Fact Check Snopes

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15 thoughts on “#WhyIDidn’tReport: Yes, Colour Matters In Sexual Assault Cases

    • thingscarlaloves says:

      People like that just don’t like facts. It’s much easier to say ‘race card’ or ‘victim card’ than confront the fact that you might be wrong, and I’m pretty sure that is the definition of being a Trump supporter: Total eager obliviousness in the face of absolute insanity.

      Liked by 1 person

      • thingscarlaloves says:

        And he does it well, as I know you know from your posts (which are so good, btw!). The more people that keep falling for his bullshit, the more confused I get. It’s like waking up on a foreign planet with apes just to realise it was earth all along.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Brendan Birth says:

        Thanks for the compliment on my posts!

        It is rather confusing. Though for me, the emotion is more “scared” than “confused” to be honest–scared because this time is really showing my country’s capacity to fall for things that are truly evil.

        Liked by 1 person

      • thingscarlaloves says:

        I mostly find myself sad. As a teacher, whenever I’ve taught the Holocaust, I always give my students this very important fact: That before 1923, Australia was more anti-Semitic than Germany. (Australia is a deeply racist country.) I always made share that whenever I taught the Holocaust, that my students understood how quickly a country can fall into fascism, and how in ten years, Hitler’s party would go from nothing to something, and only a few years after that, a party that had been routinely dismissed as “stupid” managed to receive the most amount of power. It’s something I’ve always taught them – that genocide is something that will keep on happening, and that every fascist leader has gotten there by being elected.

        What makes me scared is that I always used to think I was surrounded by fairly like-minded people, and things like Trump make me realise that sometimes people are racist, sexist and bigoted and you don’t know it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Brendan Birth says:

        I totally get that. It’s a case where you don’t want or don’t like history to repeat itself. Yet, it repeats itself. Which is sad.

        The Trump era shows that sometimes people are racist, sexist and bigoted and you don’t know it. It also shows that many others of us would rather remain silent. In the United States, people used to say that “if I were alive when Martin Luther King, Jr. were alive, I would’ve marched with him.” Many of the people who’ve said that have been silent during this time, which is also sad because this time (like Dr. King’s time) is full of injustice. (Not to mention that Dr. King was actually deeply unpopular before his death, so no, most of the people saying what they said wouldn’t have marched with him to begin with.)

        Liked by 1 person

      • thingscarlaloves says:

        I agree. I think the silence and apathy hurts me more, because I don’t understand when people don’t want to speak out. Like, I can’t say Carla growing up in America, during that time period, would have marched with him, but I can say this Carla, the one I am, would have. And part of that has just always been in my family – I protested the War in Iraq in Year 8 or 9 at my school, because I didn’t believe that we should go to war. It’s just been my family thing – ignorance hasn’t been something that’s tolerated, so I genuinely seem to be confused when others don’t.

        Liked by 1 person

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