Shannon Purser Shared A Powerful Message About Rape Culture

Victim-blaming, joking about sexual assault, and defending assaulters are all aspects of rape culture — but rape culture is so pervasive that it can exhibit in ways we don't even consider.
On Friday, Stranger Things and Riverdale actress Shannon Purser shared a photo of herself on Instagram wearing a t-shirt reading "End Rape Culture," and posted a powerful message about the ways in which rape culture can manifest in our daily lives.
"Rape culture is schools telling victims not to report rape because it might reflect badly on the administration," she wrote. "It's kids being taught that sex is some all important milestone and that somehow you're not living if you don't have it asap. It's women's testimonies being disregarded because the accusation could 'ruin the rapist's life.'"
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Unfortunately, Purser is right — we've created a culture in which survivors are discouraged from coming forward, and in which those who do aren't believed.
According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, a vast majority of sexual assault perpetrators don't go to jail — which is a part of why 2 out of 3 sexual assault incidents go unreported. Sexual violence survivors may also choose not to report their assault because they fear retaliation, feel that the police won't do anything to help, or believed that it wasn't important enough to report.
Every 98 seconds, someone in America is sexually assaulted, and it can happen to anyone.
"There's no instant fix for this mindset," Purser wrote. "All we can do is start from the beginning. Teach your children about consent. Take people seriously when they report rape or harassment."
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).
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