Lady Gaga’s emotional performance alongside 50 sexual assault survivors at the Academy Awards drew the attention of many Americans to injustice within the justice system toward special victims.
Although sexual assault has decreased by 50 percent in recent years, it is still an issue and should be properly punished.
According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), every 107 seconds another American is sexually assaulted. There are about 293,000 victims of sexual assault each year.
Over 40 percent of victims are under the age of 18 and 80 percent are under the age of 30. Sixty-eight percent of sexual assaults are not reported to the police, and 98 percent of rapists will never spend a day in prison or jail. Approximately four out of five assaults are committed by someone known to the victim and 47 percent of rapists are an acquaintance or friend.
An example of this is American singersongwriter and rapper Kesha Sebert. At the age of 18, Kesha signed onto Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald’s label Kemosabe Records. Now 29 years old, Kesha alleged that Dr. Luke drugged and raped her a decade ago and has continued to abuse her.
Due to these allegations, Kesha pushed for the termination of the contract between the artist and label.
Dr. Luke decided to counterclaim the allegations by claiming that the pop star was attempting to escape their contract by publicly defaming him.
On Feb. 19, the judge decided that it was not reasonable to “decimate a contract that was heavily negotiated.”
According to an article by The Atlantic, Dr. Luke allegedly said that when he took girls out, he would have sex with them after he could get them as drunk as possible.
Although it is legally undecided whether the sexual abuse did occur or not, the case is a prime example of the unfortunate reasons that many sexually assaulted victims will not report their assaults. Many victims think no one will believe them depending on the situations and go through feelings of self-blame, shame, fear and more.
No matter who it is, victims are never “asking for it” and justice needs to be given where it is rightly deserved.
image via www.mashable.com
Originally published in the March 9, 2016 print edition of The Echo.