The ongoing question the courts are struggling with is, “What constitutes rape?” The next question we must ask is what constitutes consent? Consent is explicitly saying saying yes to a sexual act. Too often men claim women consent but the woman is not in a proper state of mind.
Victims are coming forward and then being pushed aside because society’s view on rape is askew. Women are accusing men and the justice system is accusing women of crying wolf. According to federal law rape includes forms of sexual assault, other genders, and instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity, including due to the influence of drugs or alcohol or because of age.” That means that if someone doesn’t consent or they consent while impaired, it is rape.
If we know this is a problem, why does it keep happening? The emergence of rape culture has become the normalization of aggressive sexual acts and exploitation of women. Instead of being incarcerated, rapists and abusers are roaming the streets because another woman supposedly cried wolf. A prime example of this was the case of this culture was the sexual assault of fourteen year old Daisy Coleman. One evening she drank a little too much and became too intoxicated to make informed decisions. Upon the arrival of two seventeen year old boys, Daisy was raped. Despite her saying no, one of the boys continued anyway.
The boys were charged as adults under Missouri State law. However, after news of the incident spread throughout the town, Daisy was ridiculed and cyber bullied. Then on top of that the state dismissed the charges based on insufficient evidence. Despite the confession of one of the boys. After the incident the boys finished high school and went on to college in nearby towns. Daisy however was forced to move forty miles away and struggles with her assault daily. Since the incident he has attempted suicide twice.