Comment: Is Rape Ever The Victim’s Fault?

BKCHAT

No.

In the latter hours of last Wednesday (depending on who you follow) you may have seen that #BkChatLDN was trending on Twitter. It wasn’t necessarily for the greatest of reasons but before we get into that, here’s a little rundown of what BkChatLDN is.

BkChatLDN is a relatively new YouTube series which has become popular within Black British communities and those from certain areas of London and, broadly speaking, the UK. The show replicates a “chat show/discussion” format and features a mixture of young black men and women. Issues discuss usually meander in the genre of sex and relationships. To some it may be seen as one of the only currently prominent/popular outlets online where black people are being represented and you know what, props to them.

However, when they published a video entitled “BKCHAT LDN: S2 – EPISODE 5 – ‘Even If My Vagina Was Out For The World, DO NOT F#*KIN Touch Me'” whilst posing the question “Is Sexual Assault or Rape ever the victim’s fault?”,  eyebrows were raised and if I am honest, mine definitely were too.

In an ideal world, the episode should not have been as long as it was. After the question was read out and someone answered no, the ending credits should have played because that is that. Rape is not the victim’s fault. Granted, they are there to discuss topics so you know…

Feel free to watch the episode for yourself but if you want a quick lowdown on the main points stated they were:

  • Rape is rape and it is never the victim’s fault.
  • Rape is rape and the victim is partially to blame depending on what they are wearing.
  • Your clothes should not dictate whether or not you get raped.
  • No-one is safe from rape

Then there was this weird analogy where one member of the cast explained how you wouldn’t blindly run out on the road because you know there is a chance you will get hit and somehow linked rape to that.

Listen.

Coming from a background where I spent a couple of months researching a filming a documentary on sexual assault, there are a couple of things I have learnt along the way. This whole issue of who to blame when a girl is raped is one that is strangely debated time and time again when really, the answer on who is to blame is there in front of us.

The rapist.

If a girl/woman has said no, made it clear she does not want to have sex or has not consented (because let’s remember, not saying no still does not class as consent) and you pursue anyway, that is rape. Let us not forget that this is not an issue exclusive to females, men do get raped to and the same rules surrounding consent still exist.

One cast member in particular made a stellar point in my opinion… She spoke on how it is possible for a girl/guy to be at blame for making the other person believe they want to have sex. However, once that has been cleared or more so, once she/he has voiced that they do not want to have sex and it sex is forced upon them, that blame is completely on the rapist. There is no scenario in which someone can be blamed for their rape. Rape is never justified.

The second we as a society start having discussions that prod people to believe that women can possibly be at fault for being raped is the second we have failed our women to be quite honest with you. Of course, as with any situation, there are steps that can be taken that could result in you being safe. It is never okay to purposely put yourself in an extremely dangerous situation. However, regardless of where you are or what you are doing, rape is still rape and it can happen anywhere, at anytime by anyone.

So how do we fight something that can exist in any nook and cranny in our lives. Well, what we do not do is spend all our efforts warning women but rather exercise a lot of that time into teaching perpetrators what consent is and what consent is not.

I will give credit where it is due. BkChatLDN did well by discussing a topic that some may argue is not spoken about enough in black communities. Is that to say that sexual assaults do not occur as much in black communities? Probably not. Also a lot of very valid points on how the blame should always be on to rapist were made.  There are some really intelligent and coherent discussions that happen on this show and to be honest, I think this is something that a lot of people could benefit from watching. Plus, it is quite entertaining and there have been various moments in previous episodes  where have I had to pause the moment to rewatch it.

That being said, there were many moments within this video that left me saying “aggGhHghh you can’t say that” but you know what – it is time we spoke more openly about rape and sexual assaults.

Oh, and just in case you missed it…

It is never the victim’s fault.