Rape and Sexual Assault & Beartown

Rape and Sexual Assault & Beartown
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Storyboard Description

Trinity Grabeal, Period 7

Storyboard Text

  • Introduction
  • Victims should not be blamed for a situation they cannot control. An article named Hard to Believe says, "...because the need to believe that the world is fundamentally just contributes to the rationalization that egregious maltreatment must be somehow deserved by the victim" (Heller). However, these victims don't deserve a consequence of this severity, and they shouldn't feel the need to be held responsible for an unwanted assault.
  • It's all my fault! (sobs)
  • Narration
  • "According to the US Department of Justice (DOJ), sexual assault refers to the performance of any nonconsensual sexual act prohibited under federal, state, or tribal law" (Rape and Sexual Assault).
  •  "Rape is a form of sexual assault that federal law enforcement defines as "the penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim" (Rape and Sexual Assault).
  • "While some people dispute that a rape culture exists, those who attest to its existence contend that US society encourages rape..." (Rape and Sexual Assault).
  • Confirmation-Novel
  • The townspeople in Beartown rejected Maya because it was more convenient for themselves. This caused Maya to feel as if the assault was her fault, so unconsciously, she took responsibility for Kevin's actions.
  • "Anyone can see she's just some sort of attention seeker" (Backman, 347).
  • Victims of rape or sexual assault should not be held responsible for another person's lawlessness.
  • Confirmation-Research
  • "This socially Darwinistic paradigm illustrates how the offender's advantage over the victim supports a survival of the fittest template. The fittest are elevated, irrespective of their character. Signs of weakness and fragility are subject to condemnation. Power, status, and even gender are the relevant markers for what is valued and esteemed" (Heller).
  • "Some critics of this theory, however, counter that such arguments excuse assailants from taking responsibility for their actions by blaming [the victim]" (Rape and Sexual Assault).
  • Concession/Refutation
  • Many people believe that the victims deserve the assault because of "their clothing" or "how much they [drink]" (Anderson).
  • Instead of supporting her throughout this crisis, the unspoken cliques in Beartown rallied against Maya.  "She's a teenager, for God's sake, and we all know what happens to their hormones. But if she gets drunk and goes into a boy's room, then she's putting him in one hell of a position, isn't she?" (Backman, 347) 
  • Conclusion
  • "It's up to us to help them understand that the sexual assault had nothing to do with their clothing; it had nothing to do with how late they stayed out or how much they drank" (Anderson).
  • "Essentially, stigma breeds contempt and contempt breeds blame. Following this line of reasoning, the stigmatized victim is ultimately blamed for the harm inflicted by the offender" (Heller).
  • 62% of young women considered themselves to be at fault for their rape or sexual assault.
  • Furthermore, "Much is at stake when most of our society supports and accepts [rape] myths as truth: It allows perpetrators to deny and excuse their violence, it grants permission to not be held accountable..." (Anderson). This makes supporting rape victims important because they will not feel responsible for the perpetrator's actions.
  • However, victims should not be "held responsible for the perpetrator's behaviors, choices and actions" (Anderson).
  • "And, hopefully, one day when [victims] understand [that they aren't responsible] they'll be able to let go of the guilt and shame they carry" (Anderson).
  • It wasn't your fault. Never take responsibility for what happened to you.
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