Justice

This Pie Chart Explains the Major Causes of Rape

June 10th 2016

By:
Tricia Tongco

The Stanford rape case and and the now notorious short sentence given to attacker Brock Turner have pushed the conversation about sexual assault and consent back into the spotlight. At the center of the debate is the question, "What causes rape?" Thankfully, this handy pie chart provides a clear answer:

rape chart

While it might seem that this pie chart states the obvious, this graph points out an important element of rape culture:

Namely, blame is often placed on external factors rather than the rapist who committed a crime.

The item "slutty clothes" touches upon the way that rape victims are routinely scrutinized for their behavior instead of that of the alleged rapist. In her letter to Turner during his sentencing, his survivor wrote, "The sexual assault had been so clear, but instead, here I was at the trial, answering questions like...'What were you wearing?' 'Were you wearing your cardigan?' 'What color was your cardigan?'"

Research has suggested that being victim-blamed by law enforcement officials and medical professionals can result in rape survivors experiencing significant distress and additional trauma (termed "the second rape") extending beyond the assault itself.

"Alcohol," the second factor listed next to the pie graph, was also a focus in the Stanford rape survivor's questioning. She pointed out in her her courtroom statement that she was asked questions like, "Did you drink with dinner? No, not even water? When did you drink? How much did you drink? What container did you drink out of? Who gave you the drink? How much do you usually drink?"

a photo of red solo cups and beer cans

In his own statement to the judge during his trial, Turner also blamed "drinking," along with college "party culture" and the pressure to "fit in."

Those who have written defenses of Turner have placed blame everywhere else except on him, from his father Dan Turner decrying "the cycle of binge drinking and its unfortunate results" to his friend blaming his conviction on "being politically correct."

Given the prevalence victim-blaming and the lack of accountability placed on sexual offenders, the pie chart serves as an important reminder of a simple fact: Rape is caused by rapists.

[h/t GOOD]