Recently, one woman’s horror and heroism has brought a much needed change in the conversation about rape in our society. Brock Turner’s rape of a woman at Stanford University, and his unacceptable 6-month sentence, reveals not just a horrendous, all too common sexual assault, but a broken system that continues to protect male abusers, blame victims and condone violence against women. This case is so significant because the survivor’s brave and heart-wrenching account starkly brings to light the problem of rape culture (and white male privilege).
Rape culture is a term that was coined by feminists in the United States in the 1970’s, but rape culture exists in every country in the world. It refers to the normalisation or trivialisation of sexual violence against women in society.